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ff'T^t^Sf c-v '^f. 





• 1929 • 

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DURING THE YEARS 183 3-9-4. 




18 37. 

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Entered acconfiog to act of Congresa, In the year 1837, 
iB the deiVi Offlee of the IMitrict Court of the Southern Dittiet of New Tork. 

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HjLVDfo some yean since become acquainted with tlie commevee of Asia 
and Eastern Aftica, the infonnation ptodnced on my mind a conviction that 
eonaideraible benefit would result from effecting treaties with some of the 
imAte powers bordering on the Indian ocean. 

With a riew to effect an object apparently so imponant, I addressed a 
letter to the Hon. Leri Woodbury, then a Senator in Congress from the 
stale of New Hampshire, detailing the neglected state of our commerce 
widi certain eastern princes, and showing that the difference between the 
duties paid on EngU^ and American commerce, in their dominions, const!- . 
CQted of itself a rery important item in profit, in farour of the former. 

Subsequently to this period, Mr. Woodbury was appointed to the secre- 
taryship of the Navy, and consequently became more deeply interested in 
the success of our floating commerce. 

Scarcely had his appointment been confirmed before the melancholy news 
arrired, that the ship Friendship, of Salem, Mass., had been plundered, and 
a great portion of her crew murdered, by the natives of Qualah Battu. 

As an important branch of our commerce to the pepper ports on the west- 
em coast of Staiatra was endangered, by the successful and hostile act of 
tiiese barbarians, it was deemed necessary that the piratical outrage should 
be promptly noticed by a national demand for the surrender and punish- 
ment of the aggressors. 

About this period, the U. S. ship-of-war Potomac was nearly ready to 
proceed to her station on the western coast of South America, by way of 
Cape Horn, but her destination was immediately changed for the western 
coast of Sumatra, accompanied by instructions to carry into effect the 
measures of government against the inhabitants of Clualah Battu. 

As our government was anxious to guard against any casual^ which 
m%ht befall the Potomac in fulfilling her directions, it resolved to despatch 
the United States' sloop-of-war Peacock and schooner Boxer, to carry into 
effect, if necessary, the orders of the first-named vessel, and also to convey 

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to the conrts of Cochin-China, Siam and Muscat, a mission charged to 
effect, if practicable, treaties with those respectire powers which would 
place American commerce on a surer basis, and on an equality with that 
of the most faroured nations trading to those kingdoms. 

A facial or confidential agent being necessary to carry into effect the 
new measures of government, I had the honour to be selected for that 
duty, at the particular recommendation of the secretary of the Navy. 

The summary chastisement of the inhabitants of Ctualah Battu, and the 
complete success of Com. Downes, in the performance of the duties assigned 
by goremment, rendered a visit from the Peacock to that place unneces- 
sary, and thus left the objects of the mission more fully open to a complete 
and minute investigation. How far they have been faithfully accomplished, 
I leave to the candid and impartial judgment of those who peruse the de- 
taib of the Embassy, in the following pages. 

At the period of my visit to the courts of Siam and Muscat, American 
commerce was placed on a most precarious footing, subject to every q)e- 
eies of imposition which avarice might think proper to inflict, as the price 
of an uncertain protection. 

Nor was it to pecuniary extortions alone that the uncontrolled hand of 
power extended. The person of the American citizen, in common with that 
of other foreigners, was subject to the penalties of a law which gave the 
creditor an absolute power over the life, equally with the property, of the 
debtor, at the court of Siam. As an American, I could not fail to be deeply 
impressed with the barbarity of this legal enactment, and its abrogation, in 
relation to my own countrymen, detailed in the Embassy, I consider as not 
the least among the benefits resulting from the mission. 

With the courts of Siam and Muscat, it will be seen, I was enabled to 
effect the most friendly relation, and to place our commerce on a basis in 
which the excessive export and import duties, previously demanded, were 
reduced fifteen per cent. 

If in the attainment of these benefits some sacrifice of personal feeling 
was at times made for the advantage of American commerce, the dignity 
of my country was never lost sight of, nor her honour jeoparded by hu- 
miliating and degrading concessions to eastern etiquette. 

The insulting formalities required as preliminaries to the treaty, by the 
ministers from the capital of Cochin-China, left me no alternative, save 
that of terminating a protracted correspondence, singularly marked from its 
commencement to its termination by duplicity and prevarication in the oflSr 
cial servants of the emperor. The detail of the various conversations, 
admissions and denials, on the part of these eastern mini8ters,in the pages 
of the Embassy, exhibits their diplomatic character in true, but not favoura- 
ble colours. 

The unprotected state of our trade from the Cape of Good Hope to the 
eastern coast of Japan, including our valuable whale-fishery, was painfully 
impressed on my attention in the course of the Embassy. Not a single 

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iNTRODircTioir. 7 

Ywsel-K^-war is to be seen waving the national flag orer our eztenaire 
commerce from the west of Africa to the east of Japan : our merchant- 
men, trading to Jara, Sumatra and the Philippine islands, are totally unpro* 
tected. The extent of this commerce may be estimated from the fact that 
there arriyed in two ports in Java daring one year, one hundred aad one 
ships, the united tonnage of which, amounted to thirty-eight thauaofidf 
eight hundred and eeveniy-ee^en tons* To this may be added the whale- 
fbhery on the Japanese coast, which likewise caUs loudly fbr aaccour, and 
protection from the goyemment The hardy whaler— the learless adven- 
turer on the deep — ^yielding an immense rerenue to his country, amid 'suf- 
ferings and prirations of no common order, certainly ckims at the hand 
of that country, protection from the sarage pirate of the Pacific. Among 
this class of citizens too, we may look for those hM and detennined spirits 
who would form the bulwark of our national nary. The protection of this 
important and prolific branch of commerce is, in every point of view, a po- 
litical and moral advantage. I indulge the hope that it will become the 
object of special legislation, and that the hardy sons of the ocean, whde 
fiUing the coffers of tiieir country, may enjoy the protection of her flag. 

The various tables relative to exports, imports, currencies, weights and 
measures, in the various places visited by the Embassy, will, I trust, be 
found greatly beneficial to the commercial enterprise which, yearly, ezteads 
from the Cape of Good Hope to the China sea. They have been com- 
piled in some instances from direct observation, and in others, from ths 
best authority which could be obtained. While it has been my special 
object to render the pages of the Embassy a guide to the best interests of 
commerce, I have not been unmindful of the claims which the general 
reader fllay have on a work embracing a view of that interesting quarter of 
the world, the eastern and southern portion of the eastern hemisphere ; its 
natural scenery, productions, language, manners, ceremonies, and internal 
political regulations, will be found in the Embassy. The picture may not 
be at all times of a pleasing character; it has rather been my object to give the 
original impression, than to decorate it with any factitious colouring. When 
visible demonstration could be obtained, I have always resorted to it, ia 
drawing my conclusions ; and in those cases in which this best auxiliary 
was denied me, I have given the testimony of travellers from other coun- 
tries, who preceded me in visiting the courts touched at by the Embassy, 
and whose details have received the sanction of the world. 

The abject condition of morals among the inhabitants of the Indian 
ocean, will naturally interest the philanthropist: while rejoicing in the 
high moral tone of society which distinguishes his own happy land, he will 
look with an eye of compassion on those regions where the worship of the 
Supreme Being gives place to the mysterious idolatry of Badha, or the 
external ceremonies of Confucius. 

The searcher after literary information will find in the account of the 
literary institutions of China mu^h interesting and useful matter for obser- 

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Tfttwa and reflection. In lektion to the strictness of her collegiate eaami- 
nations, and the high grade of learning necessary to seeore their honours, 
some useful hints may he derired to our own collegiate institutions. 

In the appendir will be found a curious literary document in relation to 
the dwrigines of the Malay peninsula, particularly of the negroes called 
Semang, accompanied by specimens of the Semang language in two 
dialects, for which due credit has been giren in the Embassy. 

The philologist will doubtless receire this accession to the common 
stock of inquiries into the origin of language, with considerable gratifica- 
tion. A philosophical inrestigation of the relationship existing between 
the varied families of the earth, and their common origin, may perhaps yet 
be based on the analogy ezistmg between their language and dialects. 

The phraseology of the epistolary document from the Sultan of Muscat 
to the President of the United States, with that contained in the letter firam 
Tumbah Tuah to Captain Geisinger, at Bencoolen, furnishes specimens of 
that figurative and high*wrought diction, for which the Oriental nations are 

As I am about to undertake another Toyage to exchange the ratifications 
of the treaties alluded to in the Embassy, to form others in places not yet 
.▼isited, and to extend, if possible, our commerce on advantageous terms, still 
farther east than India or Cochin-China, I beg my readers will consider the 
present volume as a prelude to much further and varied information to be 
derived nndev mote favguiaUe auspices-^more intimate knowledge of 
eastern fixmi^-and that caution which diould ever be the child of expe- 

In concluding tny introductory remarin, I would freely acknowledge my 
Obligation to the works of those authors who have preceded me in visiting 
the nations to which the Embassy was directed. I deemed it important 
that no useful information, from whatever source derived, should be with- 
held from my countrymen. Wherever ocular or audible demonstration 
could be had, I have -recorded the fiicts as they were presented, in the most 
simple and unadorned manner: I had not in view the flights of rhetorical 
composition, but the detail of useful intelligence. 

My country claimed at my hands, the faithful fuhllment of arduous and 
responsible duties. If, in the information furnished in the Embassy, her 
req;uiiemettts have been accomplished, my ambition is satisfied. 

E. R. 

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idb^ flran Boftan; Arrhril at Bt Jtfo; D— M i yta i; Exports; GiMt DvoqgkC; Fogo; 
nuillimtiiiMI mOb^ fcranrit? DMcHpCfcMiol'^OoMt; Evbowof Rio «id DlilHtt 
Vlfim; tlie Okyj Public Garden; Bolo Fogo; Botanie Garden; Populatkn; Pablic 
B u id h U B i Bmuita and Hooae of RapreaentaliTea. 13 

IkHtavftomllaflMfldee; DaaertptkmoflhelalBndofl^ialaaiyAcanba; atPtab; EogaiiO}. 
Anhal at Bcnoooleo and Deacrlptioa - •••• 99 

flaiUaf fironaBeBOOoleii; Arrival at Crokatoa and ForaakflDUaiida; Gk-anery; Beautiiol Bub- 
maifna Gardeo; British Frigate; ArriTal at Angier: fiaittng ftooi Angler; Bay and City 
of Manila; BoHdings; Popnlatlon; Prorlslons; Labour 89 

Maofla, eootlnaed} CalMda; SearCucuraber; Cigar-Factory at BInondo ; Ejporto; Duties; 
We%hts and Currency ; Exchange ; Imports ; Lnion ; Carite ; Hurricane ; Lago de Bria ; 
Pina; Indtan and BuflUo ; VisitBto theAlcade ; « SI 

Pepartora fitom MaDfla: Cholera; Ci|M Bolina; Chinese Vessels; Pilot; Haeao; Linting, 
VUhge; Whsmpoa; Jba Houses; flacrifice; Anival at Canton; River and Boats; De* 
seilption of OantoD ; Great Idol Temple ; Legend of the Joa House ; Religious Ceremo- 
nies; llfawr Temples 03 

Btadhlsn; Toqibs of Anesalors; Oerenonies; Origfai of Tumuli or Tombs; Sacrifices to 
Oonlbeins; Psn>Hwiiy-Fsn } Inftndclde; Charitable Inatilntlons ; Gorerament Gra- 
tnldes •••• •• ...••... 15 

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UefcrlpdoaofGuiUm; Baking of the City ; PlaeaofBsBOQr; Monniinf; ComptM; Ifato. 

riak for BoildingB; Booms; Prlncipta Offices; Duties and PeBstties of Govonor; 

Fires; GoTemor's flskrx; Di?lsk>ii of Power ,.,.. 9 

litenory Ibstitntloos of China; Bwiminatkms ; Schools; Teachers; Bchool-rooiik OereoHK 
Dies; CoUsfes; Domestic Commerce; PopulatJon of the Provliices; Inserts; Kx- 
IMNrts Id 

■arly Coltamerce of China; American Trade; Honf>Merch^nts; Truislators; UagaitU} 
Foreifn Factories ; Style of Liviuf ; Manufactories and Trade ; Physicians ; KlS'BoalB ; 
MaiidikotoiWB; Mechanics; Population of Canton 181 


Weights and Measures; Money Weights; Commercial Weights; Opium; OpinmRmo^eii; 
Mantchou Dynasty * ^ 186 


Death; Ceremonies of Imperial Moomlng; Population of the Chinese Empire; Kaock-heMl 
Ceremony ; Beggars ; Cat and Dog Market ; Dr. B. and the China-man ; Bhrben ; Dre» 
of the Oldnese ; the DrsgonGod; Oarery , M7 


CHaate of Canton tnd Macao; Meteorological ATerages ; Departure from Cbnton for Macao 
andLlntlng; Macao; Population; Superstitious Ceremony 101 

WaHlf fh>m Unting to Vung-Lam BarlMur, in the Province of Fooyani or Phuyen ; Ctorem* 
Dtent of Shundai; Assistant Keeper of Vung-lam; Letters to the King of Oochte- 
Chfaia; Catholic Priest; D^uties from Bhundid , 171 

Present of a Feast to the Embassy ; Description of Arrangement ; Deputies of Hue ; Extra- 
ordinary Demands— Refusal to Forward Despatches to the Emperor; Letter of the 
Envoy to the Minister of Commerce ; President's Letter; Unconditional Requirements 
of the Deputies « Idft 


Suspension of Intercourse ; Failure of Mission ; Departure of Embassy from Vtmg.Lam Bay ; 
Envoy's Titles ; Mode of Husking Rice ; Tombs of the Dead ; Fishing-Boats ; Absence 
of Priests and Temples; Superstitions; Wild Animals; Mandarins' House; Mode of 
taking Leave; Government of Cochln-China ; Grades of Rank 813 

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CONTElfTi. n 


Cp6hte>CbiniolikoOotf«rfllan; Arri««l«ith«lfoDthof the Rirer MenAm; 
; FrDceHlOB to the OoreniiDeiit-Hoiue; RecepOoo; (toverner; SUu&eee Tem^ 
; loterriew with the Sieiweee. Foreifn Minleter} PrloiaPoiuiai Feats of Screogth; 
Femalee ; Fire t Bnc-kok ; White Elephant* ; Embehnhiff ; ShaTing -head Cere* 
monyand Feaat; Foz-baU * 9V 

PuiaunlHinii at the Palace of Bang-kok; Peacriptioui Royal Elepbaat; White EUphantai 
Siiig of Siam ; Great Temple of Ooatama ; Citj of Bang-kok ; Temple of Wat-clian-tooft 
and Figure of Bodha; Banyan Tree; FIre>feedera; Mlaaionailea 9B 

GhkMM Jdnka; Meehuiic Arte of fltam; Amuaements; Danehig Bnakea; Annual 0*th «l 
Allegiance; Deeeription of the Capital; Etobeaajr lirom Cochin-Chloa; Edocatlon in . 
Oam; Palace VI 

Proeeaiion to the Foneral Pile of Wang-na, or Second King ; Origin of Budhiam In Blam ; 
Bommona Kodom ; Athetatical Principles of Budhitm ; Budhiat Oommandmenta ; Hlatorj 
of am; Oovemment; Titleaef theKlag; OAoers of the Ctoreninient 989 

jAclent Lami of Btanai Legal Oatha; Ponlahment for Debt ; Ditoreea; Populatkinof Slam; 
■iBtnre and Complexioo of the Slameae ; Diyiaion of Time ; Boondaries and Poaaeaelona 
of Sam; Marine of Siam; Imports; Inland Trade; Currenej; Treaty of Conunereei 
Ttible of Exports 306 


Departure Itom Bang-kok for Bhigapore; Singapore; Commerce; Bogie; Maritlaie Laws; 
Departore from Singapore; Stratts^of Gasper; Island of Jata| Popolatkm of Jam; 
OMd^; Dying; Stamping; Fruits; Birds • 319 

BWavia; Borylng-Orounds ; Benrants' Wagea; Academy of Arts ; Departure from Batsvia; 
Arrival at Aogier; Departure from Angler; Red Sea; Arrival at Mocha; Tnrkle Ben 
Al Bias; Palace of Mocha; Currency at Mocha; Transparent Stone; Colour of the 

Depaiture from the Red Sea; Cspe Rosselgate ; Arrival at Mnacat ; BOndBeggars; Fin-back 
Whales; Bedoufai Arabs; Pearl Islanders; Arab Houses; Currency of Muscat; Ifavai 
yore« of Muscat. < •-•• i 

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Ihputan ftom Mueat; Antral tt QufailBOffaiiy tad UomaMqM; Bxpoita from Hmbb- 
Ufoe; Impoits; Departure from MMUBbiqaa; Anifal at TMb Bay; Oapa of flood 

A%oa Bay; Importa; PopulaHoii of the Capo of flood Hope; Pnblle fi i aHHitlwia ; Mews* 
papen; Itapartnre from the Ctpe; AnivalatBioJaiieffo; Departure from Bio Janebo; 
ARhalatBoalmi Harbour; telWealTaUa { 

▼artoiia ffocwmenla comectad wHh the Work....... .....4 

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Thx Execatire haying, in the year 1832, resolved on an attempt 
to place our commercial relations, with some of the native powers 
of Asia, on a sure and advantageous basis, ciders were issued to 
prepare the United States' ship Peacock, and the schooner Boxer, 
for that special object. 

The commanders of these vessels were required to visit certain 
ports on the southeastern coast of Asia, and to make a general 
report on the condition of our conunerce, in relation to its security . 
from piratical, or other hostile acts in the Indian seas. I was hon- 
oured by the President of the United States with the station of 
special agent or envoy to the courts of Cochin China, Siam, and , 
Muscat, for the purpose of effecting treaties which should place 
our conmierce in those countries on an equality with that enjoyed , 
by the most favoured nations* 

The Boxer, having orders to proceed on a voyage to Liberia and 
from thence to join the Peacock off the coast of Brazil^ left Boston 
barbour about the middle of February, 1832; and on the follow- 
ing March we sailed from the same port, in the latter-named vessel, 
for Rio Janeiro; having on board F. Baylies, Esq., whom we were 
carrying to that place on his way to Buenos Ayres, to which Re- 
piMc he had received the appointment of charg^ d'affaires from 
the government of the United States. No circumstance, worthy 
of record, occurred until the eighth day of April, when at daybreak 

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we discovered the isle of Sal» one of the Cape de Yetds, and ere 
eyening cloeed, St. Nichdas and Bonavista appeared in ught. 
We lay to on that night undet the lee of Mayo and on the fol- 
lowing morning cast anchor in the roadstead of Porto Prayo, in 
the island of St. Jago. 

The customary salute of thirteen guns, given to the town, was 
immediately returned with a corresponding number. Of the weath- 
er, considering the season, we had no reason to complain. The 
thermometer ranged between 40° and 72°, rarely exceeding the 
one or falling below the other ; the lov^est point, when we passed 
St. George's Bank, being 37°, and the highest, at the time the 
northeast trade wind first met us, being 71°, in latitude 19°, and 
longitude 26°. The barometer ranged from 29°, 97^, to 30°, 4^. 

The mos^ perfect order and regularity prevailed on board the 
ship, in every department of duty ; each individual having his 
duties so defined as to prevent confusion among the crew, should any 
of the seamen be called suddenly to quarters, or to make, take in, 
or reef sails. Among the acquisitions most useful and instructive, 
were an excellent library, presented by the government to the 
officers, and a second selection of books, purchased by the officers 
and crew, jointly. It was a gratifying sight to behold men who 
might, otherwise, have been occupied in relating idle stories, sing- 
ing immoral songs, quarrelling, or creating a mutinous spirit among 
their fellows, drawing useful information from the great sources of 
knowledge, and extracting from the page of history, at the same 
time, a fund of information and a code of morals. 

The Cape de Verd islands belong to the kingdom of Portugal, 
and are ten in number. They were discovered by Noel, in the ^ •• 
year 1440, and contain a population, as follows : Sal, four hundred ; - 
Mayo, two thousand five hundred ; St. Vincent, three hundred and 
fifty-six ; St. Nicholas, five thousand ; St. Jago, thirty thousand ; 
Fogo, ten thousand ; St. Antonio, twenty*four tliousand ; Brava, 
eight thousand ; Bonavista, four thousand ; St< Lucia, uninhabited ; . 
total, eighty <f our thousand. 

Among the principal articles of export from the abovementioned 
islands is orchilla, a species of lichen. It is used for dying any 
shade of purple or crimson, and is superior to the same kind of moss 
found in Italy or the Canaries. This vegetable product glitters^ 
09 a sparkling gemj in the royal diadem of Portugal, having been 

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«U. CAPS 9M TXRDS — SXP0KT8. 15 

monopolized by the crown, to wUch it yields an annual reventie 
of t90(M>00. The right of purehase claimed by the crown, 
allows only five cents per pound. Were it not for this unjust 
mon<^ly, <xchilla would readily sell at twenty-fire cents the pound* 
It is exported to Lisbon, and there sold, by the agents of the royal 
trader, to foreign merchants, who re-expoit it to their respectire 
countries. Salt is produced at these islands, in 'Itfge quantities, 
and furnishes a considerable article of export for the United States* 
markets ; being used for the salting of beef, butter, Ac, Heavy car- 
goes of it are exported, principally by Americans, to Rio Grande 
and La Plata, for the curing of jerked or dried beef, which finds a 
ready sale in the market of Havana. It is also purchased by 
American sealers to salt the skins. In the Ust of fruits on this 
cluster of islands, the red and black grape are conspicuous. They 
furnish, converted into wine, a considerable article of internal com- 
merce. St Antonio alone, says Mr. Masters, of Sal, produces, 
annually, from fifteen hundred to two thousand pipes of wine. 
Owing to the ignorance of the inhabitants in the process of fer* 
mentation, it is of ordinary quality, generally unfit for transportation, 
and may be purchased at the rate of ten or twelve dollars per pipe. 

If tliere be truth in the often-repeated assertion, that volcanic 
countries produce the best wines, Fogo will export, at a future 
day, a very superior article. Since the year 1827, coffee, nearly 
equal in flavour to that of Mocha, has been cultivated with success. 
Previously to that period, the crown had laid an almost prohibitory 
duty on the importation of this article from its empoverished island-* 
ers, in order to encourage the agricultural produce of its more ex«- 
tensive southern possessions, in the vast territory of Brazil. Every 
planter, now, looks on his plantation as a source of increasing 
profit, and within five or six years, coffee will become the leading 
article of commerce from the Cape de Verd islands. It now real- 
izes ten cents per pound. The remaining articles for export, are 
hides, skins, goats, and asses. 

We found the inhabitants, on several of these islands, suffering 
extreme distress fi-om a want of provisions, occasioned by a failure 
in the periodical rains, for two successive years. At Fogo, many 
died from starvation. The inhabitants of this island have, long 
since, annually exported ten or twelve small caigoes of com to 
Madeira, and in this, their day of sufferin j^ the inhabitants of that 

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•uter-idand received them by hundreds with erery mark of kind- 
ness and attention. Some small relief was likewise administerod 
from the Peacock. 

The whole appearance of the Cape de Yerds, in consequence cyf 
this long-continued drought, was exceedingly arid; the grass 
assumed a dark brown colour, similar to that which may be seen on 
our western prairies, when a foe has passed over them. Noi... 
green was visible in the vicinity of Porto Praya, Save in the dicpn 
valleys, lying on the outskirts of the town, where some moisti * 
yet remained, and where water was obtained for the sneering 

Tlie town of Porto Praya, is sitnated on an eminence of con* 
siderable height, and may be approached, in firont of the harbour, 
by two roads ; the one being on the eastern and the other on the 
western side. These roads exhibit marks of great labour, bestow- 
ed in their construction ; they have been, for the most part, blasted 
out of the solid rock, and extend up the side of a precipitous 
hill. Forty-five pieces of cannon, of various caliber, pointed to- 
wards the roadstead, serve, at once, as a fortification to the town 
and a protection to tlie harbour. 

Vessels bound to Western Afirica, South America, or the East 
Indies, generally take in refreshments at this port, which affords 
a safe anchorage for vessels at all seasons of the year, excepting 
the month of September. During this month it is visited by a 
violent gale from the south, that would place in the most imminent 
danger any vessel which might seek for security beneath the bold 
and rocky precipice that rises in many places, nearly perpendic- 
ularly, one hundred and twenty feet above the shore. 

At ihe smnmit of this rocky acclivity is the plain on which Porto 
Praya is built, and where a large open square, from which three 
or four streets diverge, serves as a market-place. Within this 
square is a building used for a jail. On its eastern side are sit- 
uated the governor's house and a church ; the latter being the only 
place for religious worship in the town. 

At the request of the governor, Capt. 6. and myself paid him a 
visit. We were received with courtesy and affability. He is of 
noble family, not quite thirty years of age ; and on this occasion 
-W^M bedecked with six coders of merit, which he frequently gazed 
on with apparent satisfaclicMi and delight. The houses here are 

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geneiaUy built of atone : thoM fadng the public square am two 
Btariea in height, and well atoccoed ; on the western aide, many of 
them commodioua» well finished and furnished, and faatidiooaly 
neat in their appearance. A gallery, resting on a precipice serenty 
or ^hty feet high, extends alcmg their rear, and commands a pros- 
pect pf neat gardens, securely "Called in, and laden with tropical 
^ uittL^^S^^^^^ ^°^ flowers. We obserred several negro girls, 
^j^ Talley beneath, drawing water for the inhabitants of the town, 
^.ff^jwith well filled jars, winding their way up the side of a sig- 
xag^and dangerous path on the hillside. As the eye followed their 
ascent up the fearfiU height, firom which a fidse slep would have 
dashed them in pieces, we could not bqi admire the seeming ease 
with.which they balanced their Tessels, and the appaient disregard 
of danger displayed by them as they frequently bent, in wanton 
spoitLTeness, over the projecting crags of the pmdfice. 

The population of Porto Praya is said to amount to fifteen hun- 
dred or two thousand, nineteen twentieths of which are black or of 
doubtful origin. As a suitable return for the hoipitalily we had 
received from the inhabitants, a supper and dance were given to 
them on the quarter-deck of the Peacock, which was fancifully 
decorated with evergreens and flags; that of Portugal holding a 
conspicuous station. 

We fotmd fish in abundance in the waters around Porto Praya, 
and by the help of a seine obtained a good supply, among which 
we found the mullet and red grouper. Two laneet-fish were also 
taken : these singular fishes are furnished on each side of the tail 
with a weapon resembling the spring lancet, which they use both 
in defence and attack. The date-palm flourishes in the valleys, 
and all the intertropical finits may be obtained in abundance in 
their proper season, and vegetables at all seasons. 

Having replenished our diminished sea-stock, we sailed from 
Porto Praya on the thirteenth of April. After clearing the roadstead, 
wc nad a clear view, to the west, of Fogo ; its towering altitude 
rising thousands of feet above the bosom of the ocean in which its 
base was laid. This ocean-mountain bears evident marks of its 
volcanic origin. Volumes of smoke were seen issuing from its 
numerous craters, so long as its bold outline was distinctly defined. 
Ere sunset, the Cape do Yerds were completely hid from the 

view, and we stood south, inclining to the eastward, unlft theei^ 


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teenth, when we reached the latitude of 3^ 31^ north, and 21^ 4r 
west longitude. We now shaped our course more to the westwaidy 
and on the nineteenth, being in latitude 2^ 22" north and 22^ 8^ west 
longitude, we took in a light breeze from the south and east, and 
crossed the equator on the twenty-second, in longitude 23^ 3(K. The 
usual ceremonies of a visit from Neptune, which not unfrequently 
terminate in quarrels and fights, were judiciously dispensed with* 
An attempt was, however, made to play a trick on the uninitiated, 
which for a short time afforded much mirth and amusement. A hair 
was placed across the centre of a telescope-glass, and handed round» 
for the purpose of seeing the equatorial line ; but a young mid* 
shipman having obtained another glass, in which he could not see 
the line, the trick became at once discovered. To make some 
amends to the crew for the loss of their usual frohc on crossing 
the line, a modicum of good punch was served out in the evening, 
when it was found that out of the whole number there was one- 
eighth (or twenty-one men) bel<»iging to the "total abstinence^ 
society ; a proportion which I suppose to be as large as could be 
found among the same number of landsmen. 

With pleasant breezes and moderate weather, we proceeded on 
our course, keeping the ship one point from the wind, so that a fore- 
top studding would draw. At day-dawn on the third of May, we 
discovered Cape Frio, and at ten o'clock, A. M., the Sugar-loaf at the 
entrance to the harbour of Rio Janeiro. From the time we dis- 
covered the cape until the following evening, a most perfect and, 
to us, annoying calm prevailed. A brisk gale at length sprung up 
from the southwest, accompanied by thunder, lightning, and rain : 
so stormy, dark, and tempestuous was the evening, that we only 
occasionally obtained a glimpse of the fine revolving light on Raza 
island : at intervals, a vivid flash of lightning would disclose to us 
the Sugar-loaf mountain and a small twinkUng light at Santa Cruz. 
The bearings of the principal points of land having been obtained, 
before the evening closed, notwithstanding the war of elements, we 
dashed onward in fine style under three topsails. As we came 
abreast Santa Cruz, we were hailed, and answered ; but not heaving 
to, three guns were fired, followed by the burning of as many "Mue- 
lights.** We now proceeded up the harbour, and cast anchor at 
ten o'clock. The city was saluted the following day, and the sa- 
lute answered by an equal number of guns. 

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The seacoast £rom Cape Frio to Rio is remarkable for the 
boldness of its features, possessiDg Taiious obtuse peaks and moun- 
tarns ; but southward of the harbour is a remarkable range of hillsy 
presenting a rough profile of a human countenanee lying with its 
&ce upward. It is fonned by a table-mountain and two jagged 
hills : the resemblance is so striking at the first view that no force 
of imagination is necessary to complete the picture. 

No one can enter this harbour without admiring the beautiful 
panorama which is spread before him. At the entrance, called the 
Ptto de Assucar, the celebrated granite peak is seen, piercing the 
doudsy at an altitude of thirteen hundred feet, and the prospect is 
erery where varied and magnificent. Nature seems, here, to have 
Sfjoread a banquet for her adoring admirers. Every spot is covered 
with beautiful flowers ; even the rocks are festooned with various 
parasitical plants, which exhibit a perennial bloom. The harbour 
is surrounded with wooded hills, studded here and there with a 
chapel, a venerable chuxch, or a beautiful villa. The imagination 
has free scope to picture forth scenes of bliss in the numerous val- 
leys, where peaceful cottages lie partially concealed amid groves of 
oraage and lemon, lime and citron. On the bosom of this spacious 
harbour may be seen, tranquilly reposing, the vessels of all nations ; 
and the water is dotted in every direction with boats issuing firom 
the numerous inlets and islands, from the first blush of morn to 
dusky night, laden with passengers. for the city-inarket and the 
shipping. These boats are managed by slaves. This harbour, 
called by the natives Nitherohy, was discovered on the first day of 
January, 1531, by De Souza, and named Janeiro, or January river» 
as he supposed it to be an ouUet to a great river, from the extent 
of its bay. It will probably ever retain, as at present, its name, 
notwithstanding the extreme absurdity of calling a bay a river: for 
it was sooa ascertained by discovery, that no large body of waler 
emptied into it. 

The city of St. Sebastian, better known to the commercial world 
by the name of Rio de Janeiro, lies on the southern shore, skirting 
the base of several prominent hills and occupying the valleys be- 
tween them ; from Bote Fogo to its western extremity it measures 
nearly eight miles. The most conspicuous buildings are the nu- 
merous churches and chapels — ^the Ushop's palace — the theatre — 
and the loyal palace, fraatting the harbour, at the great landing fiyr 

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boats and vessels from Rio Giande, the town on the opposite shore. 
The streets, regularly kid out, intenecting each odier at right 
angles, are not more than twenty feet wide, and wretchedly paved. 
The sidewalks are narrow and inconvenient for a town thronged 
with people. The houses are generally built of unhewn granite^ 
and are from one to three stories high ; they are furnished with 
balconies, which are much resorted to by the ladies, who seldom 
visit the streets during the daytime, excepting in sedan chairs, 
when they attend to their devotional exercises. 

Owing to the extreme heat of the climate, the encumbered slate 
of the streets, and a due regard to the Portuguese custom which 
lorfaids their walking abroad during the day, the ladies of the city 
take the evening for visiting. In beauty, elegance and acconq>lisb- 
ments, they sink in the comparison with their neif^bours of Bue- 
nos Ayres and Montevideo. 

The houses, excepting those occupied by the richer classes, are 
daork, narrow, and filthy ; and if this Augean stable be not cleansed 
from the accumubited filth of ages, ere the cholera shall visit it, 
thousands will be swept away. 

A stranger is surprised, in passing through the streets, at the 
immense number of shops which occupy the ground floor of ntajs 
ly ever house in the city; yet there are said to be but few faikuree 
among their occupants. The extravagant price charged for every 
article, retail, may perhaps account for this fact. 

One of the most celebrated objects of curiosity in Rio is the 
celebrated aqueduct, which is seen winding its way from the Cor- 
covado along the base of many hills, intersecting the streets with 
its double arches, and passing over the roofs of houses to the va- 
risys fountains, which are constantly thronged with negrdbs, carry- 
ing jars of water to the dwellings of their masters for culinary 
purposes — the kitchen being, in many cases, in the upper story, 
while the ground-floor is occupied for magazines or stables. At 
some of the fountains are stone troughs, for the use of the negro 
washer-women, which are constantly thronged with them, making 
most vociferous cries : a greater confusion of tongues could not 
have been heard at the dispersion of the builders at Babel; far 
there is a mixture of all the languages of Africa, from Senegal to 
Angola, and firom Da Lagoa Bay to Zanzibar— with Portuguese^ 
Spanish, French and English, and various Indian languages: 

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making, in the sum total, an oUa not to be surpasaed by the Lingua 
Fcanca of the Mediterranean, or the baasars of Britiah India. 

Every kind of labour is here done by slavee ; the heanest bur- 
dens axe dragged by them on ill-constructed drays over a rough 
pavement : some of them (principally criminals or runagates) are 
seen diained in various ways, and bending under the weight of 
packages too heavy for their stiiragth. 

Slavery appears here in all its worst features and most disgusting 
deformities. Notwithstanding bkicks may be seen at the altars, 
administering the rites of religion, — as commanders of companies 
or regiments, or as custom-house officers — ^yet poor friendless 
creatures (white and black) are seen at every step, nearly naked, 
covered with loathsome diseaaes, badly fed, having only the steps 
of some church-door or the pavement for their bed, or lying exposed 
to the intense heat of a tropical sun. 

I visited many of the churches, but. found them sadly shorn of 
their former splendour, having in them only a few aged priests* 
and, excepting on particular days, a very limited number of devo- 
tees : the passers-by rarely lift their hats and make the sign of 
the cross, as they were wont to do, when passing the sacred doors ; 
the same neglect is apparent when the vesper-bell strikes a few 
dow and solemn sounds at the decline of day. Formerly, when 
its tones were heard, every kind of labour and amusement were 
instantly suspended, every head was uncovered, a silent thanks- 
giving offered to the Giver of all good for mercies received dunng 
the day, and His divine aid and protection were implored for the 
ensuing night. Now, almost every species of religious observance 
has departed, in the overthrow of a notoriously debauched and 
overgrown prieathood. 

The population of Rio is estimated from one hundred and 
twenty to two hundred thousand, of which a very large proportion 
are blacks. No correct census has yet be^i taken, owing to the 
jealousy of the people, who suppose that the object of government 
is to impose, in such an estimate, a capitation tax. There is a 
great tidmixture of blood among them, from the jet black African 
with his curly wool, to the pure white with flaxen locks. 

The French residents aie numerous, if a traveller may judge 
from the names on the signs, and the endless Parisian nothings 
tapo^od for sale in. the Rua.d'Ovidor.and the Rua d'Quitandar 

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22 XMBAB8T TO THU X A 8 T. m^ 

Here and there are interspersed English, German, or Italian naniM* 
Since the abdication of the late emperor in favour of his littla 
son Don Pedro the second, and the breaking up of his splendid 
court, numerous carriages have disappeared, and only a few bumble 
volantes or cabriolets are seen drawn by two mules, sir perhaps 
by a horse and a mule. 

The National Museum is situated on each side of the Campo 
d'Acclamacao, and is open to the public on Thursdays. It occupies 
at present but three rooms, having been sadly plundered of it« 
contents by Don Pedro. The specimens of minerals are numerous 
and scientifically arranged ; but the entomological dep^urtmeat is 
meager, considering the immense numbers and beautiful varieties 
of insects for which this country is so justly celebrated : there are 
many private collections in the city which far surpass this, in 
numbers and brilliancy. In additicji to the abovenamed depart* 
ment are several oases, divided into compartments, showing, ih 
miniature, implements of trade and manufactueres. 

The Senate House, on the opposite side of the square, is a very 
plain edifice, badly built, and propped up in every direction wiJi 
long pieces of timber. 

On the day when the minister of the interior delivered in his 
budget, I visited the House of Representatives. The gallery and 
four private boxes were crowded. We occupied one of the latter* 
There were about seventy naembers present, highly respectable in 
their appearance, although some were of a doubtful white, and 
others quite black. They weie dignified in deportment, gracefiil 
in action, and spoke with greattfuency. 

Education has made great progress throughout Brazil witfain 
the last fifteen ot twenty years. Beside several Lancasterian 
schools, supported by government, to which are admitted, gratui- 
tously, children of all colours, (slaves excepted,) ppmatry school^ are 
to be found throughout the city; and private schools also, in which 
are taught the higher branches of education. There are also a 
surgical and a medical academy, an academy of fine arts, and 
ecde^iaatical seminaries. 

The city has two public libraries; one of them contains between 
mxty and seventy thousand volumes, in all languages. The other 
is at the Convent of St. Benedict. I visited that institution when 
the librarian was absent, but was amply compensated for the tiro- 
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walk up the steep hill, on a hot day, over a very rougli 
pavement, by the beautiful views exhibited in every direction. 
There, were seen mountain, hill* and dale, cultivated and iu a state 
of nature — ^an ocean, a bay, a river, and on their surfaces were 
floating noble line-of-bdttle ships, merchant vessels, and an abun- 
dance of littk skiffs. At my feet lay the city, virith its busy 
throng, and at every important point were fortresses and castles, 
showing forth rows of formidable cannon. The day shone forth 
with great brilliancy ; not a cloud was seen hanging over the Payo 
d'Assucar,theCorcovado or the Tejuco; numberless vessels were 
seen far at sea, pressing for the port, under a cloud of white can- 
vass, daring the continuance of the breeze. On the left lay the 
palace of St. Christovao; and, in the far west, a noble range 
of hills, terminated by the spiked tops of the organ moun^ns, 
rendered the picture enchanting and unrivalled. At the foot of 
the hill is the arsenal ; being deficient in room, the wall of the 
convent, on that side, was taken down, and the rocks being blown 
away, a secret entrance was discovered under the church, «o inge- 
niously contrived as to be hid from observation — it appeared like 
the rocks in which it was formed. 

Public Gardens. — On the bay shore, commencing near the Praya 
or Beach do Flamingo, is a pleasant garden, surroimded by a high 
wall, and g\iaided at its various entrances by soldiers. It is much 
xesorted to by the inhabitants after sunset. The avenues are of 
good width, well gravelled, kept clean, and are findy shaded by 
native and foreign trees, and with hedges of flowers indigenous to the 
climate ; but the pure and wholesome breezes, and a view of the 
bay, are obstructed by a mound, thrown up unnecessarily high, to 
protect this retreat against an ever-rolling surf. 

Looking to the right at the further extremity of the beach, along 
which is a range of good houses guarded by a high granite wall, 
lies the beautiful Gloria hill, having a small white turreted chapel^ 
Nossa Senora de Gloria, or our Lady of Glory. It is of an octag- 
onal shape, lies partially concealed amid noble forest and fruit 
trees, and is adorned vrith hedges of myrtle, interspersed with 
jasmine : and there, 

'* Weak with nice teiue, the chaste Mimoaa standee 
From each rade touch witbdiawa her timid banda ; 

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Oft M light cloudfl o*ex]Mi8»ib« summer gUde, 
Alanned, she trembles at the moving shade, 
And feels alive, throogh aD her tender form, 
The whispered murmurs of the gathering storm ; 
Shuts her sweet eyelids to approaching ni^it, 
And hails with freshened charms the rising light." 

I was much gratified with two visits made to the Botanic garden, 
situated about eight miles from the palace. The first visit was by 
water, as far as Boto Fogo. From thence it is probably three 
miles by land over a tolerably good road, lying principally amid 
mountain scenery, the Corcovado being on the right. 

This mountain, on its eastern side, is one immense mass of gran- 
ite, rising perpendicularly to the height of two thousand feet. 
On either hand are plantations and gentlemen's villas. The road 
was overhung with various fruits — the cofiee-tree showing its red 
berries and the cotton-tree its yellow bulb ; or, having burst its 
outward covering, displaying the contents of its little pod, as white 
and puje as the new-fallen snow ; the hedges were beautifully 
decorated by the hand of nature with roses, myrtles and jasmines, 
intertwined with a great variety of creeping plants* On the left, 
we passed a small brackish piece of water, called Lake Frietas, 
formed by an encroachment of the sea; which, in heavy gales 
and during high tides, forces itself over the sandy barrier between 
the low lands and its waters. 

We arrived at noon — ^an unpropitious hour, for the garden was 
shut until three, in the afternoon. Being desirous to employ our 
spare time to the best advantage, we strolled on several miles far- 
ther to the seabeach, through sandy plantations, covered entirely 
with pine-apple, then in a green state and very small. Our toil 
was unrewarded, as we did not obtain a single shell, (the shore 
being too sandy,) nor did we see any object worthy of note. 

On our return, we visited the garden, and found it a delicious 
retreat and in fine condition. The broad wide avenues are kept 
in neat order and lined with trees of various kinds. A fine stream 
of water conducted from the adjacent mountains, along neat canals^ 
over pebbly beds, passes through the garden and divides the com- 
partments of exotics from the avenues. The servants in attend- 
ance explained the endless variety of trees, shrubs and plants, and 
permitted us to take specimens of every thing we fancied. 

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This delightful spot is situate at the bate of the Corcoyado, on 
a rich plain, fronting the little lake and comprises about seventy 
acres. Here are many square plots of ground, containing altogether 
about six acres of tea, both black Und green, of which there are 
said to be ten or twelve varieties* The plant is in height about ten 
feel, and bears -a small, delicate, white flower; it was in a healthy 
and flourishing condition. The dried tea may be obtained in the 
city. The araboyna and cayenne cloves grow here ; the former 
being much more fragrant than the. latter. We also found the 
nutmeg— cinnamon of several kinds, pepper, pimento, cardamoms, 
the camphor and sago palm, the bread-fruit in full bearing, many 
varieties of the anana or pine-apple, the orange, limes, sv^eet and 
sour lemons, citron, the mamoon, marrow or mamee apple, the 
mango and delicious mangusteen of Java, the jack and the shad* 
docl^ the Banana, the plantain, the calamboUa, &c., &c. The 
last is a sub-acid fruit, of an oblong form and light straw colour, 
when ripe ; it is deeply grooved or ridged with sharp edges and is 
▼ery refreshing and agreeable to the taste. A beautiful arbour of 
a square form, having vacant openings in imitation of doors and 
windows, stands in the centre of the garden, furnished with a 
table ; it is a place of great resort for pic-nic parties and is as* 
cended by artificial steps, made of the greeii-sward. 

The situation of Boto Fogo impresses every one who visits it» 
most agreeably — ^it is a delightful retreat firom the hot and un- 
wholesome air of the city and is, Hke the Praya Flamingo and the 
Gloria hill, the residence of many respectable foreigners. The 
little bay, fronting the pretty sandy beach, seems like a tranquil 
lake embossed in magn^cent mountain-scenery. Having replen* 
ished our partially-exhausted stock of sea-stores, and the commo* ^ 
dore being with the squadron at La Plata, we were compelled, 
reluctantly, to proceed to that place and set sail accordingly, on 
the twentiedi of May. The situation of our squadron at La Plata, 
arose out of difficulties which existed between the Argentine Repub* 
lie and that of the United States, consequent upon the unlawful and 
unfriendly capture of American vessels, sealing among the Falk- 
land islands, by order of Yemet, the governor ; and from &e proper 
and spirited conduct of Captain Duncan, commander of the Lex* 
ington, in removing the colony to Montevideo, and thereby, most 
effectually cutting off all further depredations upon our commerce* 


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We received the customary assistance of boats, from the Tarious 
men of war, in towing the ship out of the harbour. As we passed 
the British line-of-battle ship Plantagenet, the band of musicians 
struck up our national air of '* Hail Columbia." On the/thirtieth, we 
made St. Marys, being the nordiem cape at the entrance of the riyer. 
A brisk breeze the day following, accompanied with misty weather, 
wafted us, at midnight, within four miles of the isle of Flores, on 
which we found an excellent revolving light — and the weather 
clearing up, we saw the dull light which crowned the hill called 
Montevideo. Sail was then shortened to maintain our position 
until daylight ; but in the course of three hours, a strong current 
running out of the river^ had forced us into four and a half fathoms 
of water, on the edge of the English bank. We anchojed, on the 
second of June, in the roadstead of Montevideo, near die United 
States' ship Lexington. On the next morning, we again sailed, 
with a strong easterly gale, for Buenos Ayres, and at noon an- 
chored in three and a half fathoms of water, off Pinta de India, in 
diick weather and a bad sea. In the afternoon, it became sufficiently 
clear for us to obtain a glimpse of the tops of some trees ; sail 
was again made and on the fifth, we came too, in the outer fiaUs* 
sas, near to the United States' ship Warren, under the command of 
Acting-Commodore Cooper, and the schooner Enterprise, com- 
manded by Lieutenant-Commodore Downing. Having landed Mr. 
Baylies and family, and taken in provisions for our voyage across 
the South Atlantic and Indian oceans, we sailed on the nineteenth, 
and in four days arrived at Montevideo. As we passed to our 
anchorage ground, H. B. M. frigate Druid, A. R. Hamilton, cdhi* 
mander, compKmented our flag by her musicians playing '^ Hail 
Columbia," which cheered our hearts and created a kindly feeling 
in us towards our English brethren. Many years previous to this 
visit to La Plata, I had resided many months at Buenos Ayresy 
and had become acquainted with a number of worthy men and 
lovely females, who tlien shone with great brilUancy at the Tcr- 
tulias, in the Bolero and Pas-a-pie, but time had changed the faces 
and condition of the living— death had been busy among all classes 
and many a friend and ?icquaintance had gone to the eternal world, 
amidst the various revolutions. The splendid churches were shorn 
of their ornaments and a few solitary priests, superannuated and 
on the brink of the grave, were seen tottering through the deserted 

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aides and cloisters, where hundreds had -once been, and where the 
resounding of my own footsteps now made me start, and look back 
to see if any of the departed had returned to wander within their 
former haunts, and deplore, though they were wont to be called 
holy, their numerous imperfections. A regal gotemment has now 
given place to one of another stamp ; but the great number of 
armed men in the streets dnd about the public buildings, have 
divested it of much of its republican character. A Protestant 
diurch is now erected, and English names are frequently seen over 
the doors i>f buildings where once a foreign merchant was not per- 
mitted to dwell. To mO) it seemed like traversing a vast sepulchre 
— so many had closed their eyes in death, while others appeared 
like spectres of former days. It was like a city once in mins, but 
which had been freed of its incumbrances, and was again ushered 
into light and life, peopled by a new generation. 

Montevideo also had met with unparalleled sufferings from the 
time that it was besieged by the British to the present hour. The 
beautiful cathedral was disfigured by marks of cannon-balls — ^the 
walls were partly demolished — ^the gates broken down — ^the cannon 
removed, and not a solitary sentinel was on the lookout from the 
battlements ; the streets were broken up, and full of unsightly and 
dangerous holes. Death, the all-consuming hand of time, and 
squalid poverty, had laid a whole city intuins ; it was like a vast 
cemetery ; for all I once knew had been swept away ; even their 
names bad been obUterated for ever. I therefore left it, better 
satisfied to wander ten thousand miles over a trackless and stormy 
ocean, than to remain in a city whose former inhabitants were 
spread in dust amid its ruins. 

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Digitized by Google 

BMoan vmoM noirfEviDio-raacRiFnoir or thb iblaxd or TBurrm D'acohb^* 


Agrbbablt to ordeTs from the navy department^ the commander 
of the Peacock was required to proceed to the west coast of Su* 
matra, to asc^tain whether Commodore Downes had obtained redress 
for the murders and robbery committed on board the ship Friend* 
ship, of Salmn, by the natives of Quakh Battu ; and if it should 
appear that from any cause such redress had not been effected, 
then the Peacock, in conjunction with the United States' schooner 
Boxer, was to proceed to Qualah Battu, and, if possible, to obtain 
poBsession of the murderers, and transport them to the United 
Stales for trial ; and also to demand indemnification for the heavy 
losses sustained by the owner. If these demands were not com-* 
l^ed with, the town was to be destroyed. 

The Boxer not havmg yet joined us, orders were left for her 
conmiander to proceed to Bencoolen, in the island of Sumatra. 
On the evening of the twenty-fifth of June, the ship got under 
way, from the bay of Montevideo. As we slowly receded from 
the port, the feeble light on the mount shone like a distant star 
through the hazy atmosphere ; and the thousand lights in the unfor- 
tunate tovm of San Felip^ appeared like the glimmerings of the 
firefly in a midsummer's night, revelling amid the light vapours 
arising from marshy ground ; the brilliant light on the Flores also 
was in full view, throwing its extended beams far and vnde over 
the tremulous sea. Our progress during the night was very slow— 
Flores and Lobos, and the serrated mountains of Maldonado, found 
us at the dawn of day, fanning along slowly, with an air which 
scarcely ruffled the ocean's surface. Nothing occurred to us 
beyond what generally befalls the sons of the ocean, in running 
down ten thousand miles ot coasting. Scarcely were we clear 
from the muddy waters of La Platay and had launched amid the 

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waves of the great Southern ocean, when squally weather assailed 
usy and close-reefed topsails were resorted to rather more fre- 
quently than is pleasant even to those who live upon the moun* 
tain-wave. The ship was at one time rolling her channels in 
before a strong westerly wind ; at another, lying with her broadside 
deeply submerged by severe squalls from the northwestern quar* 
ter, the gun-deck being ankle-deep ki water, and washing from side 
to side. Life-lines w^re secured from gun to gun to, support the 
constant passing of men fore and aft the deck* On the fifteenth 
of July, the snow-clad mountains of Tristan d'Acunha appeared, 
lighted by.a . brilliant morning^un, and towering to a height esti- 
mated at between nine and ten thousand feet. 

This island is occasionally resorted to for water, live stock, fruit, 
vegetables, butter, &c. ; the former may be had in abundance on 
the northeast- side, where, in a clear day, it may be seen rushing 
from above, white as tlie snow on the m6untain-top» and dashing 
on the beach, from a cataract of fifty feet in height. Owing to 
the steepness of the anchorage-ground and the frequency of sud- 
den squalls, it is most safe ^tQ lay ofi* and on," and send a boat on 
shore. Vessels which prefer anchoring, run in until the watering- 
place bears southwest by south, about one mile distant, where they 
find seventeen fathoms, in a gravelly bottom, mixed with broken 

This place was originally settled in 1811, by the. unfortunate 
Jonathan Lambert, of Salem, who was drowned in going to 
Inaccessible island. It has ever since been occupied by an 
EngUsh sergeant and . family, fi!om the Cape of Good Hope, 
by order of the British government, who took possession of 
it, as was said, with the ostensible motive of keeping it as 
an outpost to St. Helena, at the time of Bonaparte's imprisonment 

It may be doubted whether a desire to prevent the Americaiu 
from resorting to the island, aa a place of rendezvous in the event 
of another war, was not the real motive which actuated the British 
to take it within their protection. 

On the nineteenth, having then been out twenty-three days, we 
obtained soundings in sixty fathoms .water, on bank Lagullus, ofiT 
the Cape of Good Hope. Dashing onward through storm and 
tempest, endeavounng to keep about latitude 38^ or 39^, oeu the 

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sixth of AugOBif forty-one days from our depaituie from the bay 
of Montevideo, we descried on the northeast the miinhabited island 
of St. Pauls. As we approached from the southward and west- 
ward, it bore the exact resemblance of a long-nosed porpoise ; but 
when passing its eastern extremity, and bearing off about four miles 
north, H appeared like a spermaceti whale, the head being to the 
eastward: fronting it. was a moderately-high conical peak: its 
highest point would scarcely exceed five hundred feet. Three or 
four days subsequendy, we encountered a very heavy gale from 
northnortheast, accompanied by a tremendous swell of the ocean; 
daring its violence, a sea of uncommon height uid volume struck 
the ship, and threw her neariy on her beam ends, completely over- 
whelmed the gig in the starboard-quarter, crushed it into atoms in 
a moment, and buried the first three ratlines of the mizen-shrouda 
under water. 

It was fortunate that we escaped without further danger, as it 
came thundering onward *^ mountains high," A universal silence 
prevailed during its threatening approach : after it had passed, great 
apprehensions were expressed that it would ''break on board," 
and completely sweep ibe deck. 

As we proceeded along and gradually made northings from 
longitude about 90^ east, ther winds began to be variable and the 
weather warm; greatcorts and peajackets disappeared from 
among the crew, and finally white duck trousers and shirts were 
alone seen. The southeast tradewind did not unequivocally set 
in until we had arrived in the latitude of 16<^, and longitude 102^. 

On the twenty-third of August we Hoade the island of 
Engano, the iouthemmost of the chain of islands which runa 
parallel with the west coast of Simiatra, and which is inhabited by 
a vile race. From Engano, the winds were very light and variable 
from the southeast, a:ccompanied with lightning, thunder, and rain^ 
till the twenty-eighth, when we anchored in the bay of Bencoolen ; 
about midway between the Ratones or Rat island and the point 
on which the Doosoon, or village of Bencoolen or Malborough is 
situated, and about three and a half miles from either place. 

This settlement was ceded by tlie English to the Dutch govern^ 
ment, with all the British possessions in Sumatra, by the treaty of 
die Netherlands in 1824, in exchange for Malacca and the claims 
of the Dutch to the island of Singapore. Rat island basin is 

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resorted to by vessels ihtending to remain some time, more partio* 
nlariy during the prevalence- of die northwest gales from October 
to March ; but coasting craft always resort there during the south- 
east winds, which last through the other half of the year. 

A boat, with acting Lieutenant Sinclair, was despatched to the 
town, and in a short time a very polite invitation was received finom 
J. H. Knoerle, Esq., the Dutch resident, to. breakfast with him the 
next morning, and to Captain G. and myself to reside with him 
during the ship's stay. By this boat we heard of the entire de- 
struction of Qualah Battu, by the Potomac, which happily precluded 
the necessity of an unpleasant visit, and saved the officers and 
erew the painful duty which would otherwise have devolved on the 
Peacock. The demolition of this place struck t^ror into the 
inhabitants of all the native ports on the coast, and will doubtless 
produce a salutary effect. • * 

In the afternoon, we took a boat, and landed at Rat island. Two 
acres of dry land wpuld cover it ; the coral reefs, which extend 
northward and southward, are very extensive and dangerous. The 
island contains four or five wretched huts, including a stone build- 
ing now in a state of much dilapidation, "and a godown ot magazine 
at the building, which is open at the sides. In heavy westerly 
gales, the spray of the sea breaks over this speck in the ocean. 
Fish is the chief food of the inhabitants. The teeth of these 
islanders (possessed by few of them) are of a deep black colour, 
and show that they are frequently employed in chewing. areca, Sec. 
The chief man, called Rajah Mundo, is a Malay, about seventy 
years of age, but still active and healthy, with features so brown 
and deeply furrowed as to resemble a piece of soleleather. When 
we entered his abode, a stone building, it reminded me of Hogarth's 
picture of the last day, when every thing has fallen into decay* 
The steps were nearly all broken down ; one of the two wooden 
pillars which supported the portico was decayed, and had fallen ; 
die roof was gone,, and the walls were falling ; two half-starved 
mcmkeys stood as sentries, at the door, having something which 
was intended as an apology for a tail. The other articles of fur- 
niture in this abode t^onsisted of two Charoa gigasi or the great 
giant clams, the root of a tree for seats, two broken earthen pots 
for cooking, and a joint of bamboo instead of a water*bucket^ 
which latter served likewise the purpose of a drinking-vessel. 

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as we found in asking for some water. The floor, apparently, had 
nerer been washed; Uie ceiling was of coal-black ; and centipedes^ 
lizards, and i^ails,* were crawling in. every direction oVer the 
walls. In the only dry corner, lay a sick daughter, between two 
mate ; but the mother of the rajah formed the consummation of 
this dreadful picture : at the back door stood what I BU];^M>se 
must be called, a human being. We started back in amazement 
on seeing this irigbtful object, thinking her to be deranged; the 
harror of Macbeth, on seeing his chair occupied in the batu 
quet-scene, by the ghost of the murdered Banquo, could not 
have been surpassed by pur own on this occasion. The words 
of the royal thane rushed upon my memory, and I instinctively 
uttered — 

" Ayannt and quit my sight ! let the eaith hide thee : 
Thy bones ere marrowlese ? 
Thoo best no spe^ibuion in those eyes^ 
Which th& dost 1^ mth.*' 

'Take any diape bat that, and my fiim nenres shaD neyer tremUe.** 

The only article of ^ress on this singular being was a filthy^ 
ragged waist-cloth, apparently covered with vermin, £rom the bek 
of which was suspended a long knife ; her gray elf-lodLS scattered 
by the wind— her eyes running with rheiuii — ^her £sce and hands 
covered with dirt — her body loathsome with leprous spots; cow 
trasted with her dark Malay skin, gave h» a truly hideous appear* 
aace ; added to this, a solitcory long black tooth projected over hex 
mider lip^ and her trembling and attenuated frame displayed the 
influence of that baneful narcotic« ofttum, to which she waa 
addicted* Wretchedness could not portray a more fatthfal . pic« 
ture: imagination had nothing to conceive. We gladly left this 
loathsome habitation, upon a ramble, about the coral reefs for aheUs« 
and shortly embarked for the sbip^ rejoiced at being removed firom 
a horrid object, which long after haunted my imaginatfw by 
night and day. I have since learned that she is a fiend in human 
shape, living by means the most diabolical. 

The next nuoning we landed.^ Bencoolen, and foUnd in waiting 
a neat carriage, in which we were conveyed intaa handsome park, 
and subsequently to the government-house. Here we were re* 
ceived, at the lower end of a long staircase, by the xeaident, and 


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ushered up stairs into the great hall, through two lines of soldiers, 
as fierce in appearance as were ever exhibited on a stage : they 
consisted of Malays, Sumatrans, and Javanese, from Neas and 
Borneo, and from the bay of Bengal, turbaned, whiskered and mu»- 
tachoed, and in some cases furnished with long beards, armed 
with swords, the cris or crooked dagger, pistols and muskets. 

A most substantial breakfast was quickly served in great variety, 
and placed in the verandah, for the benefit of the air. With a 
cloudless sky above, the most beautiful scenery surrounding us, 
and a hospitable reception, we had nothing more to desire. The 
government house is situated in a park, embosomed in flowers, 
fruit, and forest-trees, guarded by line hedges and a neat bamboo 
fence. The road around the grounds was lined with the male and 
female nutmeg-trees, the clove-tree, and the graceful areca-palm, 
laden vnth its yellow fruit, hanging in large clusters under the 
branches. Here and there were interspersed beautiful flowering 
trees in great variety, and creeping plants intertwined among the 
branches. The female nutmeg was loaded with firuit resembling, 
in colour, a straw-coloured peach, but pointed slightly towards the 
stalk, like a pear. The fruit which had become ripe, had burst 
about half an inch of its outer-covering, and displayed a beautiful 
network* of scarlet mace, covering a black shining hard thick shell, 
in which lay concealed the nutmeg itself. The bark of the nut- 
meg-tree is smooth, and of a brownish-gray colour; the branches 
are handsome and spreading; the leaves, elliptical and pointed, 
•flbrd a very grateful aromatic odour : on the sune tree may be^seea 
the firuit in its progressive stages to maturity, and the white blo»- 
ioms hanging in clusters, encircled by the yellow leaves from 
which they have bursty From the centre of the flower proceeds 
an oblong reddish knob, which is the firuit. I was told that a tree 
which produces, daily, throughout the year, one nutmeg, is con- 
sidered very productive and profitable, even at the present low 
prices. At the Dutch company's late sales, they brought firom 
fifty-<two to fifty-»six dollars the pecul, equal to one hundred and 
thirty-three and one third pounds avoirdupois ; and the mace, from 
iiinety«two to ninety-'five dollars. The male nutmeg-tree, being 
necessary to the propagation of the fruitj cannot be dispensed with ; 
it is generally fiUed with white blossoms, and interspersed among 
its female compauiofis. The operation of loosening the inner 

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shell of the nutmeg is a tedious process, and is performed oyer a 
slow fire ; when the shells are sufficiently loose, to rattle they are 
broken, assorted, soaked several times in water and lime^— then 
placed in dry boxes or small rooms to sweat ; and finally, are 
packed in dry chunana or lime made from seashelk. The small 
and oblong firuit is not merchantable ; the best kind is large, round, 
heavy and firm, of a ligfatish*gray colour on the outside ; & strong 
fragrant smell ; and when pricked, the oil should readily ooze out. 

Very extensive plantations of this- great article in commerce, 
are in the vicinity of Bencoolen. Those which belcHig to the 
Dutch government are twelve miles distant, on a fine road extend- 
ing towards the mountains, about one hundred miles long. I 
visited some Parsees, who who were busily employed in curing 
nutmegs and mace. Large quantities of the latter were spread 
on mats, exposed to the sun, where they remain to dry, fi-om six 
to ten, and from four to six o'clock. The extreme heat of the day 
dries them too much and renders them brittle and deficient in fm- 
grance ; if placed in too moist an air they are subject to decay and 
will breed worms ; they should be chosen fresh, tough, oleaginous, 
of an extremely fragrant smell and of a bright reddish-yellow. 
The rind of tke nutmeg when not too dry, is preserved in sirup 
and the entire fruit, when nearly ripe, made into a delicioils and 
oniamental sweetmeat; it is cut part of the way down, at regular 
iBtervaJs and fancifully ornamented by neat scollops, peaks, and 
leaves, showing at one view the straw-coloured outer-covering, 
the scarlet mace, and the inner black shell, corering the nucleus 
of the whole, the nutmeg. 

Pepper, another article of export to a great extent, is cultivated 
throughout the island. It is propagated by cuttings or layers, as 
we raise grape-vines : if suffered to trail on the ground, it produces 
no fruit, and support is consequently necessaiy : it climbs from 
twelve to twenty feet high : the blossom is white ; the berries, 
when at maturity, are red and much resemble branches of red 
currants. In a favourable season it produces two crops. 

Tlie only fcnlification which Bencoolen possesses, is at Fort 
Marlborou^^it is in exceUent order, and situated but a short dis- 
tance firom the landing-place. There are not more than fifty or 
sixty Dutch soMiers in the place. The town is built on a point of 
land named Onjong Carang : it is of moderate elevation — falls back 

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into low swampy ground, and is at times severely visited by that 
fatal disease, the jungle fever: the liver complaint is also very 
general. Bencoolen and the ten doosoons or villages, contain about 
eighteen thousand inhabitants, consisting of a few Dutch, some of 
the descendants of Englishmen, who speak the English language — 
Chinese, Javanese, Bengalees, Parsees, Sumatrans, Malays, &:c. 
The Chinese occupy -an enclosure in the centre of the town, and 
have a Budhist or temple : they bear the same characteristic marks 
here as elsewhere, being industrious, frugal, and thrifty. Each 
doosoon is governed by a rajah, who is chosen, from among them- 
selves, and if approved by the residents, he cannot lose his ofBce 
during life, unless for the commission of some flagrant crime. The 
residents and .a certain number <rf Rajahs form a court for the 
trial of all cases requiring legal investigation. If a criminal is 
condemned to suffer death, a copy of the trial is sent to the govem- 
or*general of Java, and if approved by him, the sentence is 
carried into execution. It is degrading to humanity to see the 
abject air with which the resident is addressed by the lower oider 
of Sumatrans. They stand, when they enter his presence, with 
an aspect of humble submission : their bodies are bent — ^the pahns 
of their hands are seen resting on their knees^ and fear is strangely 
marked on their countenances. . 

The Dutch Government has two schools here--<4hey are con- 
ducted upon the Lancasterian plan ; the first, which is kept in an 
outer room of the government-house, contains about twenty-^ve 
acholars. The pupils were learning aritfmietic, to witte on sand* 
and to read from certain portions of the New Testament printed in 
the Malayan language. The translation was made and published, 
many years since, at the expense of the pious and welI*kaown phi- 
lanthropist, Robert Boyle, when the place was under the jurisdic- 
tion of the British Government, and was sent forth into varioos 
parts of the island. The second school is in the ovphan-faouse, 
about a mile from the resident, on a piece of hi^ ground sloping 
towards the bay, of which it has a fine view: in front of this 
building are several acres of land, snbstantiaUy walled in with brick, 
and covered with fruit-trees and vegetables. The boys are edu* 
cated in this school iot agents, writers, dec. The principal articles 
of export from Bencoolen, to which may be added Trippany or 
Bichos do Mar, and some edible birdVnests» have akoftdy been 

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tmi BXATH or THB E^SIDBNT. 37 

named. Coffee and rice. are raised hwe only in anujl quantities; 
they are imported from Padang for hcnne-consumption, and conse- 
quently are not articles for export. 

•All the fruits coimnon to tropical climates, and many which I 
am assured are not known in any other part of India, flourish here 
in great abundance. The .animal used for domestic labour is the 
carbouy called here carboo: he resembles the buffalo without any' 
hump between the fore-sboiilders : although naturally of a- dull, 
obstinate and capricious nature, he acquires a habit of surprising 
docility ; at the command of his master, he lifts the shafts of the 
cart with his horns, places the half yoke (which is secured at the 
end) across his neck, and then stands quietly until he is secured. 

I have several times been amused to see three or four children 
climbing on his neck, and seating themselves on his back, to take 
a ride. He was easily governed, after they were seated, by a rope 
which passed through the cartilage of the nose. He is a stout* 
built and strong animal, but cannot endure much fatigue, and has 
shorter legs and larger hoofs than the ox^ with a thick sinewy neck. 
The horns of this animal are very large and generally turn back- 
ward, being nearly square at the base. Like the hog, he is fond 
of wallowing in the. mire, and embraces every opportunity to cover 
himself with it-^being thus cooled and protected from the heat of 
the sun, and from troublesome insects. 

The bay of Bencoolen is extensive, and so much exposed that, 
when the sea-breeze commences, it throws in a heavy sea, and 
renders it impossible to carry off sufficient water for a large num- 
ber of hands without causing a long delay. Owing to this cause, 
we were unable readily to obtain the required supply of water ; and 
yams and bread-fruit being scarce, both of which we miscb needed, 
we took our departure, leaving instructions for the ^ Boxer" io 
follow us to Manila. 

.Having taken leave of die very kind and hospitable Mr. Knoerie, 
the resident, and of his companion, the Rev. W, C. Slingerland 
Conradi, pastor of the Dutch Church, I shortly found myself once 
more on board. I have lately received the afflicting intelligence 
that Mr. Knoerle, while on a journey to Palembang, was murdered 
at the instigation of some of the princqml rajahs of Bencoolen. 
His body was literiilly cut in pieces, and then burnt with great 
exultation, by the perpetrators and their friends. The question 

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naturally occurs, what could have incited the rajahs to commit so 
atrocious and fiend-like an act ? 'The answer is — revengCy which 
is always deeply seated in the heart of a Malay. 

Mr. Knoerle, imprudently, injured the happiness of. many fami- 
lies by his unrestrained passions, and thereby sealed his horrid 
fate. He should ever have b<»me in mind that he lived among 

" SouIb made of fire, and children of the tun, 
With whom, reyenge is virtoe.** 

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On the last day of August, we weighed anchor at nine o'clock 
in the evening, from Bencoolen bay, and aided by the current and 
a land breeze^ about midnight we once more found ounelTe? at 
sea. Owing to light head-winds from the southeast, calms, con- 
trary winds, and violent squalls from the high mountains of Suma- 
tra, accompanied with thunder and lightning, we did not arrive at 
oar anchorage ground, off the north end of the island of Cfokatoa, 
in the straits of Sunda, until the eighth dvjr after our departure 
from the bay. . 

At daybreak the following morning, a boat was despatched iu 
search of inhabitants, -fresh water, uid yams ; but, after three or 
four hours' search, returned unsuccessful. Two other boats were 
then sent under the command of the first lieutenant Mr* Cunning- 
ham : after a fruitless search, that officer returned at sunset, after 
visiting Long Island and Crokatoa. It was found difficult to effect 
a landing any where, owing to a b^avy surf and to the coral having 
extended itself to a considerable distance from the shore. Hot 
springs only were found on the eastern side of. the latter islands 
one hundred and fifty feet from the shore, boiling furiously up, 
through many fathoms of water. Early on the succeeding morning, 
Capt. Geissinger, Lieutenant Fowler of the maiines, and myself, 
left the ship, on a visit to Forsaken island : we flattered ourselves, 
as we approached the island, that the grateful sound of many a 
murmuring riU, trickling down its steep and woody sides, was beard 
by us — ^but we also were doomed to disappointment; for, on land- 
mgp the sound was found to proceed from the singing of locusts, 

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ivhiclrhad obtained undisturbed possession of the island, and were 
making sad ravages among the tender herbage. *' No human 
footsteps marked the trackless sand." ^ 

In reconnoitring between Forsaken and Crokatoa islands, we 
were struck with admiration at the great variety, both in form and 
colour, of an extensive and highly beautiful submarine garden, 
over which the boat was smoothly and slowly gUding. Corals of 
every shape, and hue we^e there — some resembling suttflowers and 
mushrooms ; others, cabbages firom an inch to three feet indiame* 
ter : while a third bore a striking likeness to the rose. 

* Some pretent 
Large growth of what may seem the aparkling tieet, 
And shrubs of faiiy land : while others shine 
Conspicuous, and, in light apparel clad. 
And fledged with snowy feathers, nod superb.** 

The water was clear as crystal ; not the slightest breeze ruffled its 
glassy surface: the morning sun, having just freed the noble peak 
of Crokatoa from its misty covering, shone forth with onusud 
splendour; the sides of the hills, to their lofty smmnits, were 
clothed with all the variety of fruit, forest, «nd flowering trees 
conunon to intertropical climates : large flocks of parrots, shaking 
the dew of night from their downy pinions, were seen vTending 
their way towards the palm^-trees, in search of daily food ; and 
monkeys in great variety were commencing their lively gain* 
bols amid the wild-mango mid orange groves :-^-again, gaaiog in 
delighted wcxider beneath us, we viewed the superb scene of plants 
and flowers of every description, glowing in vivid teints of purple, 
red, blue, brown, and green — equallii^, in richness and variety, the 
gayest parterre. A variety of small fish, spotted, striped, and 
ringed, possessing every colour and shade, were sporting in these 
regions of unsurpassed brilliancy and beauty. It was, appaie&tly» 
a great gala day ; for they were revelling in great ease and luxury, 
playmg all sorts of gambols in their bright sea-homes, uneonscioas 
of danger, and taking a full measure of enjoyment, in their mn> 
vailed retreats. That nothing might be wanting to complete this 
gay scene of Nature's own choosing, shells of great variety and 
shelves of coral, possessing every variety in colour, studded the 
bottom ; the superb Harpa, with its ribbed sides and straw-coloured 
dress, slightly tinged with red and Uack ; the Cyprea or Cewiy of 

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MU T18IT Ot THB Ji.TANB8B. 41 

dhuMt ereiy nori^ty, corered with an epidermis or thin membrane 
to protect its highly-polished surface ; and many others, which 
might iiYal the most delicate porcelain in whiteness and smooth^ 
ness : -there lay the warlike Chiton, encased in his black coat-of- 
mail, ready for battle, or adhering to the shell of a large Triton — 
the latter having closed the entrance to his castle by a thick marble 
talye, which Nature had proiided as a protection against anenemyi 
or ■ barrier against the rongh ^beatings of a boisteroi^ sea. Above^ 
bttieathy around us — all was in harmony. 

A solemn stillness — ^broken only occasionally by the diving of a 
huge turtle, the harsh note of the wild seabird, the singing of 
locusts, or the shrill cry of the tiger-cat — ^reigned every where in 
the narrow strait wliich separates the two islands. Disappointed 
in receiving the so-much-needed supply of water and provisions^ 
we weighed anchor the same evening for Angier, in Java, and 
before daybreak, came to in its roadstead. On our passage 
across, about^ midnight, we observed a large ship bearing down for 
vs. Immediately all hands were piped to quarters — ^the battle* 
lanterns lit, fore and aft — ^the gun-deck cleared of hammock»-^he 
two-and-thirties loaded with round and grape shot, and run out*-** 
the slow matches lighted and placed in their tabs — ^the noarincs 
ranged aloirg the quarter-deck, and the powder boys stationed from 
the magazine to the gun-deck — ^the surgeons in the cockpit were 
displaying a fearful array Of bandages ; and in five minutes the 
ship was ready for action. As the vessel neared us, we found het 
to be no enemy, but his Britannic majesty's ship Ma^cienne, from 
Batavia, bound to Bengal; So we parted as we tneV-^fnends^ 
May we never meet as enemies !- 

Day had scarcely made its appearance, ere the ship was star* 
TOttnded with Javanese canoes of all sizes, having ontriggers to 
prevent their oversetting, bringing fruits and vegetables, fowls, 
eggs, goats, musk-deer, civet-cats, coloured and green doves; 
monkeys in great yariety ; parrots, Java sparrows, having slater 
coloured plumage and- pink bills, hats, shells, &c., for sale. Their 
strange mode of speaking the EngUsh language, afforded much 
amusement to the whole crew : " Capetan, you buy me fowl? Tb 
gotty fivety ten fowl, Capetan, he be great biggy one ; you buy 
Japa sparrow ? lb got uby, uby, yam, yam, plenty, plenty, b«ry 
good; egg fowl, Capetan; fowl egg, Capetan, be be largy ona^ 


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biggy, biggy, all same as dat larangy, (pointing to a basket of 
oranges,) I gib you Capetan, one hundred, five, ten, egg, (meaning 
one hundred and fifteen,) sposey Capetan you gib me one dollar 
and one quart ;" (one dollar and a quarter.) 

All this was spoken with great rapidity and amid forcible ges- 
ticulations. They were not at all abashed in asking a double 
price for their articles, and stale eggs ; the latter, they always 
endoaToured to impose on us as new and frerii. The .greatest 
curiosity I have yet met with, is the musk-deer ; it is in height 
nine and a half inches, and twenty inches in length, from the top 
of the nose to the tail ; has large protruding round eyes, moderate* 
sized ears and a sleek, grayish, dun-coloured coat, with beautiful 
slender legs and small hoofs. ^ In its shape it is a perfect deer, 
but has no horns. I have, at times, seen this animal possessed of 
two scythe-shaped teeth, projecting from the upper jaw and placed 
near the extremity of the mouth, pointing recuryated backward. 
'When irritated it ^vould cut deeply with them and strike with 
great rapidity. 

No covering beyond tiiat of a waistcloth, was worn by the Java- 
nese boatmen, and but an additional breastcloth, by the females. 
An odd-looking hat, which is in general use throughout the e:ist- 
em seas, is worn by both sexes ; it is made of bamboo or palm- 
leaf, is impervious to water, and may be likened ta an old-fash- 
ioned painted dishcover, divested of its brim. Both sexes chewed 
the areca-root to excess, and were much disappointed that we 
could not supply them with opium, though the penalty inflicted on 
them for its purchase, is slavery for life. We paid a visit to Mr. 
Yogel, the comnumder of the Dutch fort, and met with a very hos- 
pitable reception. 

The Camprx)ngoe village of Aiigier contains about fourteen 
hundred inhabitants, composed almost entirely of Javanese and 
Malays; it is built on low ground,- verging on a swan^), in the 
midst of palm-trees. The houses, excepting perhaps a dozen, are 
of bamboo, roofed with palm-leaf, and enclosed by a slight paling 
of wood. A bamboo bridge, thrown across a ditch, conducted us 
to a very neat fortification ; the parade-ground on each side being 
shaded by rows of trees and having a very pretty garden tastefully 
laid out and full of flowers, in front of the commandant's house. 
During the two days which we remained, a marriage-festival 

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WM in progress ; when the seyen days of public rejoicing were 
finished the parties were to be united. These festiYals cmly take 
place among the children of the rajahs, or very rich men. 
Every person who chooses to join the procession, is feasted at a 
house provided for that purpose, during the festival. Were it not 
for the presents of rice, bullocks, &c., sent by the friends of the 
betrothed, the expense would be too burdensome ; as many hun- 
dreds attend, even from the neighbouring villages. 

The procession consisted ot ladies and gentlemen, seated in 
separate carte, persons on horseback and on foot^ dressed in the 
gayest habiliments which they could procure, canying a great 
number of flags of various colours and devices ; and childbren dress- 
ed in yellow satin trousers, their faces psinted yellow, with large 
curved eyebrows and fantaistical caps. Great munbers of noisy 
instruments accompanied the motley group, and the whole village 
was in an uproar* which ended o|ily with the setting sun. As we 
were passing the house of feasting, a servant was seiit out to solicit 
the honour of our company ; we entered the premises throuj^ 
two bands of musicians, who played on about thirty instruments, 
which being struck by small hammers, made a tinkling sound. 

The master of the ceremonies received us with^eat politeness 
and with much ceremony ; he was habited in a robe of crimson, 
figured with velvet, having a silk sc^arf thrown over his shoulders, 
and wearing a turban ; his. teeth were of a deep black, owing to 
his excessive use of areca andphtmam, and his lips and gums 
were of a livid hue. Scarcely were we seated, at a table set apait 
for our own use, in the midst of many hundred hungry native 
revellers, ere twenty-seven dishes, composed chiefly of sweetmeats, 
(there not being a particle of meat or fish,) were upon the table. 
After tasting a little of each, to show that we were gratified vnth 
the whole entertainment, and partaking of a cup of tea, we took 
our leave ; areca was offered, zm is customary, on our entry and 
departure. During the repast, four Javanese stepped out between 
the orchestra and danced for our amusement-; their movemente 
were slow, but very graceful, the head looking downward, and the 
arms as much in motion as the feet ; the former being extended 
occasionally rather above the head, and the pahns being generally 
opened outward and placed in every positiwi, excepting that of 
closing or clenching. 

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IVo well-constructed piers at this place, nmning ont from a 
•hallow creek, make a' convenient harbour for small^craft, imd 
near its upper part, is an excellent place for procuring water, 
which is obtained by a simple and expeditious process : a hose is 
connected with casks in a . boat beneath, the latter are filled in a 
lew minutes, so that in twentj-»four hours the i^hip obtained twelve 
thousand gallons of vfnXer. 

Yams, sweet-potatoes, ^ats, fowls, and fruit were purchased in 
abundance, but neither ^our or bread could bie obtained. Sevend 
monkeys were purchased by the crew at Angiers. After the ship 
had weighed anchor a female animal of this tribe, having a young 
006 clinging closely to the under paort of' her body, broke loose, 
ran with great swiftness to the end of the spankerboom, and plun« 
ged into the sea; a Javanese boat, towing astern, took them in; 
but not in time to save the life of the younger ; the female was then 
secured but refused to eat, and remained till next morning in a 
state of melancholy. Believing the animal would die, she was 
unloosed and running with great precipitancy to the end of the 
boom, looked into the sea ; but not finding the object of her solicitude 
there, she looked overboard, from e^ery part of the ship, mqaning 
most pitepusly. About this time, she observed a small gray mon* 
key, dififering in species from herself, having a very lon^ tail; she 
at once seized the latter and hugged it with great, seeming delight. 
The attempt to remove it from her would have been in vain, had 
any one been disposed to make the trial ; when any of the sailors 
or the monkeys approached her, she would hug her new object of 
affection with greater tenacity, run out her head, pout disdainfully, 
and show a formidaUe row of white ivory ; chattering and scold- 
ing, at the same time most vehemently ; occasionally she would 
aUow it to wander a few steps, holding on by the tip of the tail, 
during the time ; when too far, she would pull it backward, but if 
it attempted to go beyond the length of its leading-string, (the tail,) 
she would quickly drag it to her, box its ears, closely embrace it, 
and after being reconciled, would feed it with some dainty morsel, 
stowed away in her pouch. 

On a cold, stormy day, during our passage from La Plata to 
Sumatra, the gun-deck being deluged with water^ a Porto Praya 
monkey, a favourite of mine, came to the cabin-door, and in its most 
expressive manner solicited permission to enter; it stood shivering 

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in the doorway, dripping with taltwatert and looking the pictmn of 
distress^ at the same time snuffing up the warm air, proceeding 
bom a stove ; I called it in, at lengdi ; the first object of its 
attention was the stoye, (noTer having seen one before,) bul 
approaching too near, it aUghtly burnt its nose, and quickly 
retreated, looking with mu<^ astonishment at the cause ; finally 
it sprung to the top pf the table and skipping about firom orm 
place to another, unfortunately lEdigbted on the store, where it 
danced for- a second or two, jumped jvecipitately down, and 
came to me, showing its paws, (which were scorched white,) 
and apparently asking for reUef. I rubbed them with oil, at which 
the animal appeared to be reheved ; it then quietly took its station 
as close to me as possible, testifying unquestionably, ak muck 
silent gratitude as any human being could haye done in a simflar 

We sailed from Angier roadstead, for Manila, on the afternoon 
of the following day, but owing to light airs we made slow prog- 
ress to the island of Lucepara ; here we were obliged to anchor 
to find sufficient depth of water to carry the ship into the straits of 
Banca. After sounding- with sev^al boats, there was, at lengthi 
found a channel, having about three £eet more water than the ship 
drew. When passing through the straits we were compelled fre- 
quently to anchor, in consequence of the soundings ^sagreeing 
nauch with our miseraUe charts. A fine bteese wafted us through 
these waters with great rapidity, as far as Pulo Aor ; from thenee, 
until we were fairly to the northward of the great group of shoals, 
lying towaids the coast of Palawan, we were more indebted to 
tfie, ciurrent. On our passage from Sumatra to the Philippines wa 
passed through a considerable portion of the archipelago of tha 
east, where lie Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, the Molucca and Phil* 
ippine islands ; where the sea is like a smooth bed on which the 
islands seem to sleep in bliss — ^islands, in which the spice and 
perfume gardens of the world, are embosomed ; where the bird 
of paradise, the golden pheasant, and a hundred other birds of 
brilliant plumage, haye their homes amid thickets 'so luxuriant, 
and scenery so picturesque, that European strangers^ there find the 
fairy lands of their youthful dreams. But our pleasing anticipa- 
tions were at times blighted' with the apprehension of striking on 
Bome unknown shoal, or encountering one of those tremendous 

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46 EMBA.89Y TO THE BAST. lOoiolwr, 

Q^pboons for which the northern coast of China, in tlie latter p»t 
of September, about the changing of the monsoons, is so notorious. 

Thick squally weather attended by variable winds blowing 
sometimes from the northern, and again {torn the southern quarter, 
wafted usrapidly to the eastward, after doubling the shoals. We 
proceeded onward, assisted by a strong, current, until two o'clock 
in the mbrning of the thirtieth of September, whenli slight gleam 
of light appearing throu^ the mist, discoyered to us mount and 
point Calavit^, on the northwestern extremity of Mendora islands. 
Shortly afterward, we descried Luban and Cabia or (Goat) islands. 
At ten in the morning, we dropped anchor between the island of 
Corregidor, and the mountain of Marivales on the island of Liuco« 
nia or Luzon. 

Our chronometers being useless, we were obliged for some time 
previously to entering the China sea, to depend on our " dead 
reckoning ;^ notwithstanding twenty-five or thirty miles a day was 
allowed for a current setting to the eastward, after passing Pulo 
Sapata, the allowance proved insufficient, as we had gained forty- 
five miles over out reckoning. During the past month, the diarrhoea 
prevailed among the crew, probably occasioned by a change of 
climate from cold to extreme heat, from rainy weather, excess in 
fruit, and frequent change in diet, but more particularly from the 
compulsory substitution of yams for bread. 

Before we anchored, the ship was boarded by a Spanish officer, 
despatched by the Corregidor to make the usual inquiries. Our 
arrival was communicated by telegraph t^ Manila. The officerls 
boat was rowed by sixteen Indians, and armed with four neat 
small brass swivels, small-arms, pikes, &c., to enable them to 
combat with the pirates who occasionally frequent the bay, and 
to capture smugglers. 

Having previously paid th6 commandant and family a visit, by 
whom we were received in a most hospitable manner, we landed 
in the morning at the base of Marivales, in search of adventure. 
The ship anchored the following afternoon, in the roadstead of Ma- 
nila, about four miles from the low^stone lighthouse, situated at 
the embouchure of the river Pasig, and being only twenty miles 
from our first anchorage-ground. On the succeeding morning, the 
captain of the port paid the usual visita, (visit,) accompanied by 
Mr. Henrys Sturgis, of the very respectable American house of 

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mi MA N I L ▲ . 47 

Russell and Sturgis, and Mr. Edwards, the American consult 
Haying receiyed a kind invitation froin these gentlemen, to take 
up our abode with them, I moved on shore, bag and baggage, to 
the house of the latter gentleman, finely situated at St. Cruz, 
opposite the city of Manila, and directly upon the banks of that 
beautiful river. 

The noble bay of Manila is about forty-five leagues in circum- 
ference and nearly free from dangers ; the Bcehery is of a varied 
character : mountains and hills are discernible in the distance, from 
Marivales, sweeping in a circle around the bay, till the most lofty 
form the eastern boundary of the island, the shores of which are 
washed, on one side, by the ocean, and oh the other, by the waters 
of Lago de Bria ; from the lake flows that rapid steam, the Pasij^ 
(pronounced Parseek,) into the bay, at the distance of twelve miles^ 
watering a rich extent of low land; 

The city of Manila li$s on the south side of the river, and is 
enclosed- by daik stone-walls, having a broad and deep ditch ; so 
high are the city-walls, that only the red tiled*houses, and the 
towers and domes of churches, can be seen in the distance above 
them. On entering the city, you are struck with the stillness and 
gloomy appearance of the streets, interrupted only occasionally 
by the march of soldiers going to relieve guard in this garrisoned 
town, the rumbling of a solitary carriage, the tinkhng of a bell, 
announcing the approach of the host on its way to administer the 
last religious rites to a dying sinner, or a distant convent-bell sum- 
moning the religious to prayers. The streets, although narrow, are 
kept clean, and have good " Irottoirs ;" the great square. in the 
centre of the city contains a fine bronze statue of Charles the 
Fourth of Spain, erected by his dutiful and affectionate son^ 
Ferdinand the beloved, so says the iilscription on the pedestal; 
Uiree sides of the square are occupied by the cathedral or church 
of the " Immaculate Conceptipn," the consistorial palace, and 
the palace of the governor-general. Manila contains about ten 
thousand souls, and is gairisoned by two regiments of soldiers ; 
at Binonda, St Cruz, and the villages in the vicinity, three more 
are stationed, besides three thousand placed in different parts of 
the island. Of these, twelve hundred only are Europeans, the 
remainder being Indians ; they are well clothed, fed, lodged, drilled, 
and paid. The houses are built in a quadrangular form and are 

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48 EMBA88YTOTSBSABT. [Oo|*ift 

Tery massiTe, having coTered balconies, from the aecond stoiy, 
projecting orer the street ; . they are generally spacious^ weU- 
funiished, and neat; the ground-floor, called the "hodega," or 
** godown,^ is occupied as a magazine for jj^kkIs, as a stable, and 
fox other purposes. Instead of lattice*work or glass, the mya shell 
is used, set in frames about four inches srquare ; it affords a very 
agreeable light, equal to that passing through ground*^ass ; the 
windows thus formed extend round the house, can be slid at 
pleasMre, and render the dwellings light and airy ; die second Btory 
is of thin brick, or light framework, and plastered ; th^ roof is 
covered with tile, the framework being so constructed that it will 
readily yield to the shock of an earthquake, (which is of very 
frequent occurrence,) without being easily thrown down. A very 
large proportion of the buildings, in the towns and villages, are in 
the native style, being for thp most part, owing to the low swampy 
ground, erected on piles from three to six feet high, and are 
constructed with the bamboo or palm-leaf; ihe interior is, much 
exposed to view, as the windows made, vrith palm*leaf or bamboo 
lattice, occupy thi^ee fourths of their fronts and are let down al 

Within them may be seen, in the evening, the Holy Virgin, 
surrounded by lights and placed in a glass-case, dressed in a gay 
attire, holding in her arms the infant Saviour; around her are seen 
the whole family, at prayers, before retiring to rest, thanking her 
for the blessing bestowed during the day and iroplcmng her guiur* 
dianship from all enemies during the. night; at other times, tbo 
inmates are chevring buyo or areca nut, &c^ smoking cigars, (of 
which they are immoderately fond,) combing and oiling their long 
thick hair, or thrmnmitig on the guitar and singing. Sewing is but 
little attended to,iis their dresses are simple and their children are 
permitted to run about naked. They cook twice daily on the out- 
side of their houses ; their fare consisting principally of rice and 
some fruit, with an addition perhaps of a fowl, srane fish or locusts. 
All their washing is done at the river, where they bathe daily* 
Every man among the Indians owns a game-cock, and he fre- 
quently loses all he has, even to his waistcloth, in that barbarous 
species of gambling, cock-fighting; the birds are armed with 
scythe-shaped spurs, and one or both expire, generally, during the 
first few rounds. The immense number of licensed oock*pita 

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«tl MANILA. 49 

which are fmxad in ereiy town and village, serves to dio#. the 
prevalence of the paisi(»i for this amusement. 

Maoibi 16 connected with the towns on die right bank of the 
tiver, by mean» of a single bridge, built very neatly of stone, the 
arch of winch was thrown down a few years since by an earth- 
qnake, and is rebuilt of wood. The commerce of the city is car* 
lied on at the right side of the river, at Binondo, St. Cnix, &c. ; 
that side having the advantage of numerous natural canals or 
branches; from the main river, on which are situated, extensive 
warehoosea, eo that the cascoes, which are large boats, having 
moveable or eliding roofs, in sections of about six feet in lengthy- 
can land their goods immediately at the wharf without exposure; 
to the weather. 

The city of Manila, within the walls, was computed by a cen- 
sus taken in 1818, to contain a population of six thousand eight 
hundred and sevens-five, exclusive of the military. Buildings 
which rent from five to fourteen hundred dollars per anmun, in 
Binondo, contiguous to the river and its branches, will not in Manila, 
rent for more than one fourth of that sum, owing to its want of water 
communication, yet the government have very inconveniently pla- 
ced the new and extensive custom-house close to the city-walls. 
There are about seven thousand Chinese settled here; all the 
Europeans, including the military, do not exceed twenty-five hun- 
dred ; the rest axe Indians, who, were they aware of their strength, 
might easily wipe from the face of existence, the handful of Euro- 
peans and other foreigners, who hold them and their lands in 

Provisions are so low in value, that it is said four dollars will 
fimiish a labourer, in rice, &c., sufficient for his yearly consumption. . 
Labour is exceedingly low ; the wages for a servaat^man, being 
from one to one and a half dollars per month. Rice has been 
sold here for three quarters of a dpllar the caban of one hundred 
and thirty pounds : at this time it is double that price, in conse- 
quence of vast quantities having' been shipped to Canton. A 
person possessing the immense sum of twenty-five dollars is con- 
sidered, among the Indians, as " passing rich,|' and inunediately 
qnits labour to keep shop in the street, with a moveable stall, or 
in front of his bamboo-hut ; the goods usually consist of burgc^ 
alias aieca nut, and betel-leaf, well prepared vrith liquid chunam 


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for immediate, mastication, cocoa-nut oil, a little coarse pottery, 
wooden shoes, palm-leaf hats, and perhaps a few mats. A great 
number of the shops 'contain only the first-named article, and the 
stock in trade may possibly amount to the sum of two rials, 
(twenty-fire cents ;) here they sit cross-legged^ during the whole 
day, or, desiring a change, sideways, on a gridiron bamboo-seat. 
I haye frequently feared the whole stock in trade. Would be 
ejected into the- street by their insatiable masticatory powen, but 
occasionally seeing the havGfe they are. making, and fearful of 
becoming bankrupts, they thrust a comer of one of the handspike 
cigars (which are in common use) into their mouths and fimsh off 
the evening with it. 

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Thbrk is a fashionable drive in Manila, called the Calzada, 
encoinpassing, probably, two thirds of the circumference of Manila: 
it passes oyer a low, level piece of ground, bordering on the fosse 
or ditch of the city on one side, and on the open country and parade- 
ground fronting the bay, on the other. Along this driye, carriages 
may be seen rolling, filled with well-dressed ladies, but mostly of 
a dark complexion, (Mestizoes,) smoking cigars with most perfect 
nonchalance : some are puffing paper cigars— -others, those which 
resemble, in size, Havanas ; and ag£n others, a ponderous article 
which would occupy an indefatigable smoker a week or ten days. 

There are no public houses in the neighbourhood, and the only 
amusement is a dull drire at sunset, day after day, over the same 
grounds, in preference to others infinitely more pleasant, stopping 
occasionally to light a cigar from a slow match : this latter article 
is carried by boys, who infest the road, making loud and frequent 
Yociferations, going upon the frdl run. The market is abundantly 
supplied with beef, fish, fowls, ducks, turkeys, geese, firuit, and* 
regetables. A large proportion of the labouring class take their 
meals in the street, from the innumerable venders which occupy 
the sidewalks, to the great annoyance of pedestrians. Among 
the strange articles exposed for sale in every street are firied locusts, 
made into a curry. That disgusting looking fish, called by some 
ichthyologists, Holothurial — sea-cucumber and sea-slug by thei 
JBnglisb — ^Bichos do Mar by the Portuguese — ^Tripango or Trip- 
pany by the Javanese — Swala by the Sumatrans — and Balat6 by 
the Philippine islanders, is in common use among the Chmese and 
Europeans. I have eaten it made into a soup or stew : it has a 

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52 BMBA8BT TO THB SA8T. COc«i*«, 

taste between the green fat of a turtle and the soft gristle of boiled 
beef, and is said to be yery nutritious, but not equal to the edibla 
bird^s-nests, or nests of the sea-swallow of these seas. No less 
than five thousand, four hundred and eighty-six piculs of one hun 
dred and thirty-seyen pounds each, equal to seven hundre4 and 
sixty-eight thousand and forty pounds, were shipped from this port 
to Canton last year, as appears by the custom-house returns, 
besides a large quantity smuggled. By far the larger portion is 
brought here by American vessels from the Fejee islands. These 
fish resemble, when contracted, a cucumber, and it is difficult to 
discover the eyes and mouth : some are black, others white, gray, 
&c. : they are, at present, sold at fourteen dollars per picul, the 

The land in the vicinity, for many miles, is low and marshy, but 
neatly cultivaled with rice. It .is surprising . that health should 
be enjoyed at all in the midst of rice-swamps, in this sultry cli- 
mate : thousands of huts are l)uilt in the midst of them, when it 
would prove fatal to the whole population in almoitt any other 
country. The healthiness of the climate, I think, must be &ttoibuted 
to the narrowness of that part of the island, and to the constant 
and refreshihg breezes which^liBsipata its miasma. The bamboo 
is one of the most useful among the vegetable creation — houses, 
chairs, fences^ set^es, buckets, boxes, baskets, hats, drinkiag-cups, 
fans, mats for bpats, spear-handles^ sails, dec, are made of its wood ; 
while the tender root is served up at the table, boiled and roasted, 
used as a pickle and as a sweetmeat. I visited the celebrated 
great cigar-factory at Binondo ; about five thousand fenu^es are 
employed in it, and about six. hundred men : it is a royal monopoly. 
Every person is searched twice a day to see if he pilfers any of 
bis majesty's tobacco— he being the sole owner and master of the 

The principal articles exported, (except gpkl and silver,) were 
indig9, sugar, rice, hemp or abacia, cotton, cocoa-oiut oil, sulphur, 
balat^, or bichos do mar, cofiee, wax and hides, in the following 
proportions : — 

Indigo, thirty-one thousand, one hundred and nineteen arrobas, 
of which twenty-five thousand were agua rose or liquid, in jars ; 
su^r, six hundred and seventeen thousand, seven hundred and 
thirty-eight arrobas, excepting eighteen thousand arrobas of the 

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nm M ANiLA-^axPoRTS. 53 

fint quality ; rice, one million, seyenty4bar thousand, one hundred 
and seventy arrobas, including two hundred thousand, uncleaned ; 
hemp, or abacia, one hundred and fifty-three thousand,' four hundred 
and forty-seven arrobas — ^it is of two qualities, and is called, in tba 
United States, M&nila^grass or hemp ; cotton, four thousand one 
luindred and ninety-five arrobas ; cocoa-nut oil, six thousand, nine 
hundred and sixty-four anrobas ; sulphur, two thousand, four hun* 
dred and eighty arrobas ; balat^xnr bichos do mar, five thousandi 
four hundred and eighty-six arrobas; coffee, fourteen thousand, 
mx hundred and twenty-five arrribas ; hides, twenty-nine thousand^ 
nine hundred and fifty-eight arrobas. 

The minor articles of export are dried shark's fins, oysters, mus* 
cles, shrimps and other dried fish, oil of sesamum, edible bird's- 
nests, ploughs, hatchets, knives, cowries, rattans, canes, sail-dotlT 
of ydacos, dammer or pitch, tortoise-shell, h(mis, mother-of-pearl, 
shells, tallow, shoes and boots, chocolate, soap, cigars, tobacco, 
saltpetre, lard, dried deer and ox sinews, birds o< paradise, wheat, 
flour and bie«id, mats and palm hats, cigar-cases, rum, molasses^ 
sugar-candy, sweetmeats, ground!nuts. gomuti or sagwire, cabinet 
furniture, ebony and Japan woods, and Agal, a species of seap> 
weed, or rather dulse, dissoluble into a glutinous substance, 
and used in China as a valuable paste : also sinamaya, a fine cloth, 
made firom the avac^ ; and pina, which is a narrow cloth, made from 
the fibres of the pineapple ; it is, deservedly, considered as one of 
the flfiost beautiful fabrics in the world — is transparent, of a great va« 
riety of beautiful patterns, and equal in the fineness of its texture to 
o^bweb-muslin. A large portion of the rice is exported to Canton by 
Americans, to save the measurement duty, or to Lintin when they 
^proceed elsewhere to purcliase other than China goods. Occa 
sionally the export is prohibited, either from scarcity or the caprice 
of the government, ' ' ^ 

The export of hemp, abaci or avaci, in the year 1829, was eight 
thousand, four hundred and one piculs : in 1832, it had increased to 
thirty-seven thousand, five hundred : — this article is the fibrous 
bark of a wild banana, (musa textitis,) which grows abundantly 
in all the Philippine islands. Gomuti or sagvrire is exported in 
its natural state, or made into cables, &c. : it resembles very coarse 
black horse-hair — ^is the produce of the borassus gomuti or aren 
palm, which yields the sagwixe for cordage, and is found lying 

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between the trunk and the branches, on a soft gossamer-like tex- 
ture) which is used in calkmg the seams of ships : it also makes 
a useful tinder for kindling fire — grows luxuriantly, away from the 
seacoast, but never produces more than two crops of the sagwire. 

The cocoa-nut oil is mostly shipped to Singapore, and from 
thence to England, where it is manufactured into candles : it is of 
two qualities ; the best is boiled from the green nut — the ordinary 
kind is ground from nuts, broken and exposed some days to the sun : 
the first quaUty, only, is bought for shipping ; as casks cannot be 
obtained, it is sold in jars, and readily congeals when the ther* 
mcHneter is at 70^. Wheat is raised in abundance, and ship-bread, 
of a very superior quality, is generally sold at from four to five 
dollars the hundred pounds. As salted beef, pork, butter> and 
hams, are purchased only by foreign captains, they are of xery 
slow and uncertain sale. 

The Import Duty in foreign vessels is fourteen per centum,' 
Spanish ; . the Export Duty, three per centum, excepting on hemp^ 
which is free. The importations for the year 1831 amounted Vb 
one million^ seven hundred and ninety-four thousand, tliree hundred 
and seventy-nine dollars ; the exports for the same period, to tme 
million, four hundred and fourteen thousand, seven hundred and 
ten dollars. 

^ The gold and silver imported, amounted to three hundred and 
thirty-seven thousand, two hundred and eighty-seven dollars, and 
the amount exported, on which duties were paid, was forty-nine 
thousand, two hundred and nineteen dollars. A large sum in gold, 
silver, and in the dust produced in the island, is smuggled out of 
the country, principally by the Chinese. 

Weights, — ^The quintal is four Spanish arrobas of twenty-five 
pounds. The picul is here one hundred and thirty-seven pounds^ 
Spanish, or one hundred and forty pounds, English. 

The currency of the island is dollars and their parts, and 
doubloons ; the latter being worth sixteen dollars. Exchange on 
London was four and a half prem. ; on Canton, two per cent, 
discount : but it necessarily fluctuates very materially. 

The imports are British, India, and China goods, wines, sheatli- 
ing copper and nails, iron and steel, cocoa from Peru, dec. During 
the southwest or foul monsoon, the shipping lies at Cavit^, and in 
the northeast or fair monsoon, (from October to April,) from three 

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to five miles firom the entrance to Pasig, below the bridge which 
unites Manila with Binondo^ 

The population of the archipelago of the Philippine islands, 
acoQiding to the returns made, in the year 179^, was one milhon, 
four hundred thousand, four hundred and sixty-five ; in 1805, one 
million, seven hundred and thirty«nine thousand, two hundred and 
five ; in 1812, one million, nine hundred and eleven thousand, five 
hundred and thirty-five; in 181$, one million, nine hundred and 
twenty-seven thousand, eight hundred and forty ; in 1817, two mill* 
ions, sixty-three thousand, three hundred and ninety-five ; in 1818, 
two millions, two hundred and forty-nine thousand, eight hundred 
and fifty-two. ' 

The increase in twenty-six years, from 1792 to 1818, was about 
sixty per cent. ; if to this be added thirty-seven per cent, for the 
increase in sixteen years, firom 1818 to 1834, the population at 
present amounts to three millions, one hundred and twelve thou^ 
sand, two hundred and ninety-seven. The island of Luzon had a 
population of one hundred and forty-nine thousand, six hundred 
and ninety-five : if to this we add thirty-seven per cent, up to 
1834, it will give two hundred and five thousand and eighty two. 
Of this number, nearly one half is within a circuit of twelve miles 
of the capital. The number of the tiegro race, called Aetesj 
Ygorzotes, or Papuas, was estimated at seventeen thousand, three 
hundred and fi&y-five: this number does not include many thou- 
sands, probably, who live among the fastnesses of the mountains. 

The principal object of the Spanish government in ascertain- 
ing the number of inhabitants, was to levy. a capitation tax; in 
some cases as low as one rial per head — in others, twelve rials. 
The Chinese pay a much higher tax than. any other foreigners; 
the traders, in 1832, paid six dollars per annum — the eommon labour- 
ers, half that amount. 'The latter tax forced many of the poorer 
class to emigrate : the Spanish government is afiraid of them, and 
wishes also to employ the natives of the country ; it therefore laid 
this heavy impost for the purpose of driving them away. 

No foreigners have permission to remain there, even to this day, 
as permanent settlers : they are liable to be ordered out of the 
country by the governor at any moment, and this right is not 
imfrequently exercised . 

The island of Luzon, which derives its name from Luzong, a 

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M EJCBA88T TO THE BAST. lO J i fl ii r . 

Jarge wooden mortar used by the natives for cleaning rice, mras 
discovered in 1521, and in 1571, Manila was founded. The dis- 
coverers found the country about Manila thickly settled with an 
active people called Tagalor ; at the north of this nation they met 
with and conquered '&e Pampangoes, Zambaies, Pangasinanes, 
Yloeds^and Cagayanes: at the eastward of the Tagaloes were the 
Camarines. Each of these was a distinct people, having a particu* 
lar language. None of theai.had a sovereign or chief magistrate ; 
ihey were divided into a great number of small villages, containing 
from fifty to one hundred families, each governed by a chief, who 
was chosen for his wisdom and his deeds in arms. These petty 
states were continually at war with, each other, making slaves of 
their unfortunate prisoners — the mountains were then, as now, 
inhabited by the negro race, common to many of the islands in 
the eastern archipelago. These different races of people, with 
the exception of about ten thousand, still form the population of 
the island. 

Three leagues from Manila is Cavit6, called by the natives 
Caveit, because it is a crooked point of land extendii^ into the 
sea. (Here is a small airsenal, and some small vessels are built, 
and occasionally a ship of war. It was formerly the resort of the 
Acapuico ships, before Soltith America freed herself and commerce 
from the shackles which deprived her of all participation in a free 
trade.) The natives were found to have ail the necessaries of 
life — ^rice, beans, millet, camote, a species, of potato, pine-apples, 
pranges, mangoes, hogs, ducks^ fowls, goats, and buffaloes, w;ere 
in abundance. The island abounded in deer, wild pigeons, and 
other game ; the gomuti-palm yidded them, when fresh, a pleasant 
beverage — ^when fermented, an intoxicating liquor : the pith fur- 
nished with sugar — when the liquor was properly boiled down, a 
fiirina, inferior to sago, and of the inside of its triangularHBhaped fruit 
a sweetmeat was made. The cocoa-palm afforded a delicious 
beverage, and oil for cooking or burning: the areca-palm, with its 
nut, and the betel-leaf, produced their favourite buyo. The lakes, 
rivers, bays, and ocean, swarmed vrith myriads of fish, which they 
ensnared in the most ingenious manner, with nets, lines, &c. 

The island is traversed by a chain of mountains, extending from 
north to south, from which others branch out; some are found 
isolated, in the midst of plains, while others are surrounded by 

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CATIT* — PA8IO. 87 

water. Volcanoes are found in Tarious parts'; between the provinces 
of Albay and Camorines is* the Mayon, shaped like an obtuse peak; 
it forms a good landmark for navigators ; there is also at Taal a 
similarly-shaped mountain in the midst of a lagoon ; it is called 
Bombou. Hot springs are fowid in many places. The island 
suffers at. times from the effects of tremendous earthquakes, which 
destroy masstre buildings, rend asunder the sohd walls of Manila^ 
and shake the mountain in the ocean, to its centre. The volcanoes^ 
also, overwhehn whole villages with ashes, stones, sand, and water ; 
making steril, verdant fields ; carrying ruin within its influence, 
and destroying the hopes of the poor husbandman. It is siibject 
also to desolating typhoons or hurricanes, sweeping in their erratic 
course, hundreds of slight-built huts, prostrating the largest trees, 
dismasting or foundering at their anchor, numerous vessels, anddri* 
ving on shore or vrrecking others , for nothing moveable at times 
can withstand these mighty winds. The hopes of the planter are 
also, in a few hours^ destroyed by devastating clouds of locusts, 
which infest the land, devouring in their course every green thing. 

Possessing a humid and warm atmosphere, the soil naturally 
yields aa abundance of the necessaries of life, but the seasons 
generate many fatal diseases. 

On Manila Sunday, (our Monday,) a "party of eight, one beau* 
tiful morning, before sunrise, proceeded in three veloches (caiw 
riages of a. certain description) to the village of Santa Anna, 
distant about three miles over a fine road and highly-cultivated 
coimtry, where we embarked on board two large bankas of about 
eight-and-thirty feet in length, dug out of a tree, having a light 
bamboo-roof which could be elevated or depressed at pleasure, 
and paddled by four Indians. Between eight and nine o'clock, 
we arrived at the town of Pasig, situated about three miles from 
the entrance of the lake ; the passage up was delightful — ^the land 
bordering on the river was low but well cultivated with rice, sugar- 
cane, &c., and fruit ; it was one continuous village on either bank. 
Being a holyday, the natives were well and gayly dressed ; hun«* 
dreds of canoes passed us^ laden with fish from the lake ; others 
with fruit, vegetables, eggs, areca-nut and betel-leaf, beef, pork, 
fowls, ducks, geese, turkeys, cocoa-nut oil, molasses and sugar, 
cloth, of various kinds, baskets, mats, hats, &c., made of bamboo, 
all under cover of the moveable roof; they were paddled by an 


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equal number of m6n and women, all apparently, in good spirits^ 
and having always at hand a joke, to bandy with our canoe-men, 
in the Taga language ; they were hurrying on to the great maikets 
at Manila and Binonda, to dispose of their various articles. On 
the shores, men, women, and children were fishing with every sort 
of contrivance that can be named, in the shape of nets, hooks, and 
lines ; some men with nets scraping \xp the mud from the bottom 
to obtain shrimps, which they found in great abundance ; others 
taking very large craw-fish. Hundreds were bathing in the iiver, 
near the banks ; whole families were seen together, from the grand- 
mother to the grand-daughter, washing their long bla^k hair with 
vegetable soap, called by tlie natives gogo, being the inner-rind of 
a tree growing here in great plenty. Many of the palm and bam- 
boo cottages were erected on piles close to the bank of the river, 
and some canoes were made fast to the ladder ready for any of 
the family to take an excursion, when they wished to go to the 
▼illage-clnirch^ or to gossip with a neighbour and partake of his 
hospitalities, which consist of Burgo and a cigar, a fishing-party, 
a main of fighting-cocks or a boat*race. The fronts of the houses 
being open, all the operations of the various families could be dis- 
tinctly seen. We met with many hotels, alias eating-shops, placed 
on piles some distance from the shore, where our boatmen stopped 
to obtain their breakfast, which cpnsisted of rice, shrimp and other 
fish, in abundance, for which they paid about two cents per head. 
Many loungers were reposing cm the bamboo-flooring, smoking or 
> diewing burgo, flirting with the young damsels, who were indul- 
ging themselves in the same luxury as their beaux ; at the same 
time, perhaps, combing out and oiling their hair, which generally 
reaches to the waist, aiKl occasionally adjusting their tapa or outers- 
cloth, which is either of striped silk or cotton, extending halfway 
below the knee j some wore a nicely-laced embroidered muslin 
handkerchief on their heads and shoulders ; their feet, or rather 
toes, are covered with scant and showy slippers, having no heels 
not any quarters, cut down witbm an inch and a half of the end ; 
these were well bespangled, and some of them bound vrith a stripe 
of gold or silver lace ; they are wily worn on special occasions, 
by particular individuals ; a large proportion of the pecyple go bare- 
footed, or wear a high wooden shoe, plain or ornamented with 
brocaded or spangled-velvet, or gilt-leather. Every man who ia 

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■KJ PAS 10. 50 

able, wears shirts of the truly beautiful pina, or cloth made of the 
fibres of the pine-apple, which is manufactured on the island* 
Th^ shirts, made from this cloth, as fine as cobweb-muslin, beau* 
tif^lly embroidered about the bosom, collar, and wristbands, are 
worn by all the Indians and Mestizoes, on the outside of the trou* 
sers ; the latter are made of pina, or fine grass-cloth, (called sira- 
maya,) according to the ability of the owner. As for stockings, 
they are about as useful to a young Tagalo girl, as knee-breeches 
to a Scotch-highlander. 

Reclining on our gay pillow, stretched at ease, full length, on a 
dean mat, laid on a raised bamboo-floor, discussing the merits of 
cold roast fowl, ham, and tongue ; a bottle of claret, and a bottle 
of porter for our breakfast, I thought there were not many persons 
in the world more comfortably situated for the time being. Wo 
stayed for a short time at the house of the alcade of Pasig, a natitre 
gentleman of Tagola parentage, and were hospitably invited to 
dinner. Having walked through the town, visited the church and 
bazar, (which we found well stocked with rice and fish,) we re- 
turned to the lake. The late heavy rains had so awoUen its waters 
that our canoes were paddled across extensive paddy fields, where 
we met with others, fishing ; we passed close to several large crafty 
having two masts but no bowsprits, with large mat sails, cables, 
and wooden anchors of various shapes. They were clumsily 
constructed and badly rigged, but gayly painted on their high 
bow-boards and on each quarter ; the high stem was also painted 
with flowers and a figure of the patron-saint after which the vessel 
was named, in the gayest colours. There was nothing to be seen^ 
on this part of the excursion, excepting a wide expanse of water ; 
mountains and hills, in the distance, and fishing-snares placed in 
every direction. Game of various kinds abounds among the hills, 
aflfording fine hunting. Boa-constrictors and other reptiles may 
be found in abundance, and in the creeks, alligators of an immense 
size. In the lake there are said to be one hundred different varie* 
ties of fish ; but it requires a week's leisure, a suitable banka, with 
many et ceteras, to enjoy the manifold beauties with wluch this 
sheet of water is reputed to be surrounded. We were much 
amused when on our passage to the lake, in discovering, at a dis- 
tance, a man floating with the stream and seated upright in the 
water ; we were unable inunediately to discover what supported 

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hiax in thct poiition, but shortly after we descried the projecting 
nose of an enormous carabou or Indian buffalo. The Indian 
appeared to be quit^ at his ease, sitting astride the ponderous 
animal, smoking one of the immense*sized cigars I have before 
mentioned, and which would last out a reasonable cruise* With 
the left hand be grasped the animal's tail, to support him in the 
current and a rope passed throu^ the nose (the usual custom 
here) served to direct the figure-head to any part to which he 
fancied to go. He was hailed by our Indians and asked where 
he was bound \ he replied he was on his way to pay visits to some 
Senoritas dovm the river, and, subsequently, was going to Manila^ 
to sell his carabou, (a distance of about ten miles.) 

The scene was occasionally enlivened by the sound df a guitar, 
proceeding from a canoe or a cottage on the shore. Rafts of cocoa- 
nuts, containing many thousands, guided by a single man standing 
in the centre of them, holding a long pole, with other rafts, of 
liamboo and tiniber, were constantly passing us. On our return 
from the lakes we visited several small streams on the left hand 
of the river, on which is situated an extensive village caljed Patero, 
alias Duck-town — a very appropriate name for the place, few I 
never before saw so many ducks together; the cottages were 
standing very near to each other, and thousands of these birds 
were feeding on the river, being secured by a slight fence made of 
bamboo. Raising ducks and fishing seemed to be the only em- 
ployment. Every thing about the ihhabitants wore, a rustic ap- 
pearance, which was heightened, in a certain degree, by the 
plantain and mango trees, overshadowing their picturesque habita- 
tions : some were washfng clothes in the stream, others, cooking 
in the open air — ^many were stretched out at full length, asleep ; 
children were hanging in cots under the shadowy branches of the 
trees, soothed by gentle breezes whicTi rocked them to sleep — 
others, of a larger growth, in a state of nudity, were playing with 
Ae ducks, sailing mimic boats, or making dirt-paddings— not a 
few in number were diverting themselves with cock-fighting — 
others were endeavouring to make a little musick^ and some were 
playing the game of draughts, with small stones. A portion of 
the young Indian girls (Tagalos) were decorating or anointing their 
pretty persons — others were paddling about in small canoes^ 
which they would occasionally upset to, create a hearty laugh and 

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■R} PATBKO. 61 

then, like drij^ing Tfaiads, again scrambling into theis, wonld 
lepeat the same frolic. This Tillage, -or a succession of villages, 
extends several miles along yarious outlets from the main river, 
from which no portion of il can be seen, being completely hidden 
by the tx^es on the banks; it contained, in 1818, three thousand, 
eight himdred and Coity inhabitants, all Indians; at this period, 
1834, it has, probably, four thousand, five hundred souls. 

We returned to the hospitable alcade's house about two, being 
only a couple of miles from Patero, where we found a sumptuous 
dinner, consisting of not less than twelve dishes of fish and meat, 
with a variety of sweetmeats, fruit and coffee, (but no wine or 
spirits,) and then cigars and buyo, for those who chose them. 
We did ample justice to this repast, although nearly burnt tip with 
a hot sun. This town, or rather cluster of villages, is inhabited 
wholly by Indians, principally Tagalos, and contained in 1818, 
twelve thousand, one hundred and forty souls; at the present 
period, it has probably a population of fifteen thousand ; the houses 
are mostly built of bamboo and palm, and stand on piles. In 
violent typhoons it is found necessary to secure them with ropeiss 
passed over the roofs, and fastened to strong posts. Their eleva- 
tion on piles is found a necessary security against the lake, which 
occasionally, after violent rains, spreads its wide stream over all 
the lowlands bordering upon it. The inhabitants raise cane and 
rice in large quantities, with some wheat, Indian com, fruits, &:c. 
Fishing, more or less, is the occupation of every one; they, 
apparently, live in great simplicity and comfort, wanting nothing. 
A considerable quantity of sugar is made here, there being several 
extensive buildings for that purpose. Having taken leave of our 
kind host, we proceeded down the river to Manila, and again were 
much delighted with the richness, beauty and vanety of the scenery. 
The mango with its unjbrageous arms, affording a delightful shade 
to the weary traveller — ^the plantain and the banana, disputing 
every foot of ground, on the banks of the river, the tall aijd grace- 
ful bamboo overtopping every thing around it — e;ctensive fiejds of 
cane, waving gently their green leaves to the passing breeze, with 
fields of paddy, exhibiting the green spiral leaf of the plant above 
the flooded meadows ; numberless cottages were seen, deeply 
seated in the midst of luxuriant fruit-trees, and a massive church 
or convent was always in view, in some delightful spot. Again 

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62 EMBA88TTOTHEBAST. lOetebcr. 

we met Indians, of both sexesy fishing or bathing, going upon a 
water-excursion, or to a ball, to chew buyo, to have a little chit- 
chat or scandal with a neighbour, or visit a holy firiar of a neigh- 
bouring convent. These rapid and varied scenes, with our agreeable 
company, afibrded U3 much pleasure as we lay in our bankas, 
enjoying the rapid passing views, which lapse of years cannot 
efface, exhibiting a rural picture of great simplicity and beauty ; 
the principal actors being a race of Indians noted fogr the mildness 
of their 'tempers and for their great hospitality. 

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We had spent a fortnight most pleasantly at Manila, when the 
paioful intelligence was received^ that the Asiatic or spasmodic chol* 
era had suddenly made its appearance on board the Peacock. It 
has been already stated that the diarrhoea and dysentery were prev- 
alent among the crew, on the passage from Angier to Manila. 
These diseases were ascribed, among other causes, to the want of 
bread and the substitution of yams, &c. The cholera could not 
have arisen from any want of cleanliness, for our ship, from her 
keelson to her royal truck, was kept thoroughly clean and in the 
finest order, both at sea and in port. The united causes which 
produced this malady were,, probably, change of food, the great 
quantities of fruit used by the crew, and the arrival of the season 
of the year, (about the change of the monsoons in the bay,) which 
is generally unhealthy. The first case was in a sailor, . named 
Peterson, sixty-three years old/ He had made a hearty meal on 
bean soup, with pork, and about an hour afterward the first symp- 
toms made their appearance; the evacuations became copious, 
coldness and insensibility supervened; the pulse became scarcely 
perceptible ; the countenance livid, ghastly, and sunken ; spasms 
attacked the lower extremities ; and the surface was covered with 
a cold, clammy sweat. The surgeon administered six grains of 
opium, in three doses ; bad symptoms increasing, fifteen drops of 
cajeput oil were given in brandy and water, and repeated in^ half 
an hour. After the last dose 6f opium there were no evacuations, 
but the spasms had increased, extended to the abdominal muscles, 
and caused such extreme distress, that it required three or four 
men to hold the sufferer in his hammock; his groanings and 
acreamings were violent and frightful. In three or four hours th« 

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spasms ceased; Notwithstanding the internal and external use of 
the most powerful stimulants, the pjostration increased, and, at four 
c^clock in the morning, he was happily relieved from all the pains 
and troubles of this life. Another case, was that of a seaman, 
named North ; he was found at eight o'clock in the evening, lying 
on deck, totally unable to rise, from extreme prostration. Death 
had, apparently, struck an instantaneous and a heavy blow ; the 
victim was already clutched in its most loathifome and terrific em* 
braces; the evacuations were of tlie usual character; in a few 
minutes, the pulse was scarce perceptible ; the surface, cold and 
covered with a viscid perspiration; the countenance, dreadfully 
smiken, livid, and* cadaverous; respiration became laborious, and 
the sufferer was tortured with severe spasms, in all his limbs and 
the abdominal muscles, which caused indescribable distress. NoU 
withstanding every known remedy was applied, the spasms became 
more general and severe ; the respiration more difficult ; ihe dis* 
tress more insupportable ; the prostration increased until insensi* 
bility supervened, and death finally closed the terrific scene, .eleven 
hours after the attack. I have selected but two, out of many cases, 
which will serve to show the terrific and appalling effects produced 
by one of the greatest scourges that ever visited the world. 

Finding the disease fast spreading, and fearful that it might 
sweep off a large portion of the crew, orders were given to get the 
ship ready for sea, when sufficient provisions could be obtained, 
and to seek a more salubrious air and the chances of health, in the 
China sea. To be compelled to leave a comparatively healthy 
and pleasant abode on shore, for a floating hospital, tainted with a 
highly infectious atmosphere, was painful and dangerous, but such 
was our lot ; for thirty sick-hammocks were slung on the starboard 
side of the gun-deck, when we weighed anchor, and a panic was 
visible in the countenances of nevly the whole crew. We finally, 
lost seven men, but many of those who were attacked and re- 
covered, suffered from impaired constitutions, became the victims 
to other diseases, and eventually died. 

We got under way towards Sunset, on the second of November, 
and having passed close under the stem of his Britannic majesty's 
ship AlUgator, to take leave of Captain Lambert, her amiable and 
worthy commander, together with our friends, Messrs. Strachan, 
Sturges, and Edwards, of Manila, who were assembled on her 

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mm.1 CHINE8B TSSfiELS. 6S 

quarter-deck for diat purpose, the British flag bein^ run up at our 
main ; during this exchange of friendly salutations, we filled away 
with a fine breeze, and in about three hours, passed the island of 
Coirejidor, and stood out to sea. For the two following days the 
wind was very light ; oa the third, we made cape Boliiia. 

Returning health was yexy visible among the crew in this shon 
space of time : no new case of cholera occurred after we inhaled 
the iniigorating and healthy ocean air. On the fifth day our bar* 
barton eyes were blessed with a sight of the celestial empire^ con* 
sisting of several islands. Seventy or eighty miles from land, we 
fell ki with a great number of fishing junks, of clumsy construction^ 
haying the appearance of the antediluvian vessels exhibited in the 
M biMes, with mat or bamboo sails ; they were always observed ia 
pairs, having whole fiuniUes of the *' celestials" in them, dressed 
in the oidinary garb of common, dirty fishermen ; ^generally withoQI 
any covering to the head — ^but little to the back, and that m a most 
filthy condition. When within two leagues of the Lemma or 
Ladrone islands, a junk lowered her sails close to us, and in about 
five minutes, two of the " heavenly creatures'^ came on board, in a 
small skiff, offering themselves as pilots, being as guiltless of any 
knowledge of our language as we wer^ of theirs; they were 
dressed in tan-coloured jackets and immense wide breeches, ix 
rather petticoat trousers, reaching just below the knee, and. wearing 
a greasy woollen cap-H»hirts have never been in fashion with them. 
They were very uncleanly in th^ir persons, stout built, and healthy. 
Having stepped on'board, Uie first words they uttered, were, " Capeta* 
nymepeloto — ^you wanty peloto ? " Yes," said the captain. "How 
muchy, how muchy, capetany , you gib T taking at the same time, from 
the waistband of his trousers, twenty Chinese cash, and counting 
them in his hand, he said, " Dollar, dollar, so muchy, so muchy." 
The captain counted out one half the number, which was the usual 
pilotage to Macao roads. The " celestiaP then added three to the 
number, making thirteen, and the bargain was n^ide, he not for- 
getting to ask, as is usual, for a bottle of sadishew, (rum,) which he 
snugly stowed away in his bosom. Scarcely had he taken half 
a dozen strides up and down the deck, and pointed to dteer more 
to port, before he asked for chow, chow, meaning something treaty 
which, to his astonished eyes, was furnished forthwith, in a lordly 
dish, on a chest on the quarter-deck. He pointed occasionally tQ 


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fttarboaid or larboard, through the labyrinths of islands. In tfie 
course of four or five hours we anchored under the moontainous 
island of Lautayee, during the_ night. The pilot, having received 
his money next morning, with a countenance indicative of ex- 
treme happiness, and ascertained carefully, that every dollar was 
gdod, took his leave, having been almost useless. I went over to 
Macao the next morning, passing through a fleet of sampans, (small 
boats,) navigated by damsels, that one might almost deem amphibi- 
ous, in which dwell whole families, in a most miserable condition. 
I landed close to the quay, leading to the Beach Hotel, kept by Mark- 
wick, an Englishman, fronting on Pria Grande, a public walk, 
without trees, facing the outer harbour and islands. The ship 
finally anchored at Linting, (Ling-ting,) which is eighteen miles firom 
Macao, and twenty-five from the Bogue, or mouth of the river. 
This island was scarcely inhabited till 1814, when, in consequence 
of a dispute between the British and Chinese, the company^s ships 
remained here for some time. Population increasing, supplies of 
vegetables and beef became plentiful, and induced American and 
other ships to make it a place of rendezvous ; but the importation 
of opium being prohibited, both at Canton and Macao, at this time, 
the vessels engaged in importing that article, repaired to this an- 
chorage, when they found every facility through Chinese boats, to 
smuggle of to purchase it. This was the origin of the opium 
go-downs, as they are technically called, or receiving ships, for this 
and other articles for the Canton market. There are now, in 1832, 
from seven to eight ships engaged in this illegal traffic. Among 
this number there is one American vessel, the Linting, and occa- 
sionally there are two. In the commencement of the northeast 
monsoon, in October, ships repair to this place, where they usually 
lie to the end of April ; when the southwest monsoon commencing, 
they remove to the north end of the island, where they stay six 
weeks, and then remove to Cap-sin-moon, (Cap-shuy-moon,) a 
more secure, but less convenient anchorage.* There are now six 
villages in Linting; in 1814, there were not more than sixty 
persons on the island ; in 1821, not quite two thousand, and now, 
the estimate is upward of five thousand. 
We found here, at anchor, about thirty sail of fine English and 

* Goods are tmu-ehipped from these places, without government deiiviog a^f ai^ 

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i«M WHAMPOA island: 67 

American ships. The next afternoon we landed on Linting, with 
a small party, at a miserable filthy village. From the hills, on the 
back part of the village, we obtained an eztensire view of the bay, 
the extended surface of which was dotted with thousands of boats. 
The islands around are miserably barren, worn into deep furrows, 
along their broken^ hilly sides; and, excepting a few terraces, 
formed along their base, on which upland rice and a few vegetables 
are grown, have altogether a desolate appearance. When we en« 
tered the village, (containing about twenty or thirty huts,) every 
man, woman, and child, turned out to see the barbarian ladies and 
gentlemen. A more ragged, filthy assemblage was, perhaps, never 
before seen. We hurried through, obliging them not to press too 
closely upon us, fearful some of their old acquaintance, apparently 
the rightful inheritors of their persons, might, contrary to oui 
wishes, transfer themselves to us. The next evening. Captain 
Geisinger and myself went to Whampoa. Nothing worthy of 
notice took place on our passage, excepting that sacrifice was made 
at every Jos House we passed, by burning sacred paper at the 
bows of the boat, so that we might be favoured with a fair wind. 
The same ceremony was performed with the boats passing down, 
so that the god, or jos, was completely puzzled ; and therefore it 
was occasionally calm. The wind, to show the impartiality of its 
director, would, at times, blow down the Taho, or Tigris, against 
us, then die away, and give us a partially fair wind. 

As soon as the captain of the boat found it was coming aft, he 
placed some oranges before a hideous painted god, in the little altar, 
which all boats, ships, and shops, possess, lighted it up well, put 
some odoriferous matches in a vessel of sand, and set them on fire. 
" Now," said he, " we sail hab fair win. Spose me tak care for 
Jos; Jos tak care, fpr me." I really thought the bargain a fair one ; 
and both parties held honestly to their agreement, for we bad a 
fair wind Uie remainder of the passage ; but Jos, having a bad ap- 
petite, we '' tinmed to" and eat up his supper, very much to the 
discomfiture of the captain. 

It being Sunday, we attended a Bethel-meeting on board the 
ship Superior ; the service being performed by the Rev. Mr. Ste- 
vens, who had just arrived from New Haven. We found, lying in 
Whampoa-reach, a great nuipber of English and American vessels, 
extending from two to three miles. Whampoa, where the ships 

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anchor, is between Dane and French islands, and part of the island 
of Whampoa. Foreigners are allowed to visit Danes' island, but 
they are not allowed to visit the city of Whampoa, the suburbs be- 
ing filled with vile wretches, who endeavour, upon every occasion, 
to create a quarrel, by using insulting language and throwing atones ; 
and when they outnumber the foreigners, a hundred to one, they 
beat them with long bamboos, to the great risk of their lives. The 
land on Whampoa island, is generally very low, and banked, to 
keep out the tide. It is well cultivated with rice, cane, savo-root, 
and other vegetables. Several pagodas are in sight from the an* 
chorage, and one that has been^built " time out of mind,** is near 
the town of Whampoa, nine stories high. 

At noon, we left the shipping for Canton, and in three houfs 
arrived at the factories, situated near the river, in the suburbs of 
the city of Canton. The river was thickly covered with boats 
going in all directions, from the humble sampan to the gay and 
splendid mandarin boats, having streamers flying, gongs beatings 
and manned with A great number of oars. Numberless boats were 
fishing, with every sort of apparatus ; otljers conveying the harvest 
of rice home, sculled by two long oars, each manned by six stout 
fellows, the perspiration running down their almost naked bodies 
m streams. 

Every foot of land is cultivated or covered with buildings; 
boats, without number, are moored along its banks the whole dis- 
tance ; but within three or four miles of the factories, the crowd of 
vessels was prodigious. LargQ men-of-war junks, of a most un- 
wieldly and primitive construction ; flower-boats, kept for infamous 
purposes ; pleasure-boats ; marriage-boats ; and boats which carry 
bands of comedians, were lying in all directions. Many of them 
have beautiful lattice-work sides, painted green, and gilt with good 
taste. All the vessels on the river have one distinguishing mark, 
an immense large eye on each side of the bow. ''How can 
you see," say the Chinese, " spose hab no eye T Small ferry- 
boats, the residence of whole families, are constantly plying 
between the city, or rather the suburbs, and Houani ; also, boats 
laden with tea and silk goods, from the interior or going to Wham- 
poa ; market, victualling, and pedlars* boats ; boats of a peculiar 
cmistniction, laden with oil jn bulk ; others filled with coarse Chi- 
ML ware, bamboo hats, and baskets ; umbrellas, and beautifiil lan- 

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temty covered with various deyices ; and every thing thai can be 
named, from sUks and teas to fat pups, fish-maws, and trussed rats. 

The factories, or .hongs» for foreign merchants, are pleasantly 
situated, fronting the only open space of ground within the suburbs. 
They are generally built in a neat style, but with slight pretensions 
to architecture. 

The city of Canton is built on a plain, encircled by a high wall, 
at the foot of barren hills. I looked into the city through three of 
the gates ; the streets present a corresponding appearance to those 
in the suburbs^, being extremely narrow, and paved with hewu 
granite ; the tops of the houses nearly united, so that bamboo poles 
are laid across from roof to roof^ on which awnings are spread to 
protect the inhabitants, from the intense heat of th^sun. The com* 
mon houses are extremely filthy ; there is no circulation of air 
through them. Notwithstanding the extreme narrowness of the 
streets, (only two persons can conveniently pass,) fish-mongers 
and butchers, victuallers, and venders of Jos paper and Jos sticks, 
&c., are permitted to encumber them ; so that when a lady, or 
lordly mandarin passes, in a sedan-chair, or a cooly, with his bur- 
den, the cry of ly, ly, (make room, make room,) is constantly ring- 
ing in your ears, to the great annoyance of the passengers in the 
extremely thronged alleys. Oblong signs, of a vermilion colour, 
with large golden letters, line both sides of the streets, so as to 
hide the lower parts of the buildings : they make, notwithstanding, 
a very gay appearance. The basement story of every house, seems 
to have in it a shop filled with merchandise ; and every third house, 
I believe, has some eatables for sale: bird's-nests, fish-maws, 
shazk-fins, dried oysters, muscles, deer-sinews, fish of all kinds, 
pork, beef, &c. 

All kinds of strange compounds are cooked in the streets and are 
frequently made of vile nuiterials, such as are never sold in any other 
country. Vast numbers of shops are filled with gilt paper^paper 
men, women, and beasts, of all sorts, with or without horns, and of 
firightful shapes ; some with moveable goggle eyes, and moveable 
heads, painted of all colours, with mouths extending from ear to ear, 
intended for offerings to a temple or Jos-house. A small oven 
is built at every shop-door, in which to bum mcense to their pe- 
nates or household gods, and in every shop, house, boat, and junk, 
altars are erected, sunounded by a frightful paper Jos, ornament- 
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ed with painted and gilt paper, and having odoriferous matches burn- 
ing before it. 

In company with an American missionary, the highly respectable 
and Reverend Mr. Bridgham, who has made great proficiency in the 
Chinese language, and is extending his researches in various ways, 
more especially in teaching a number of Chinese youths, &c., I paid 
a visit to the great idol temple x>{ Honam, opposite the city, on the 
south side of the river, which is here about fifty rods wide * This 
great temple and monastery contain one hundred and seventy-four 
priests. The general character given of these, by the Chinese, is, 
that they are peat debauchees, gamblers, and common mendicants; 
like the criminals, their heads are close shaven, they not being suf- 
fered to wear the long braided queue ; and they are held in no man- 

« The legend of the Jos HouBt^ Hoe-chong-sze or Idol temple of Honam : — 
Jos is a conruptioD of the Portugaese word Deos, God. Eveiy idol temple is here 
called a Jos House ; to worship any superior being is expressed by, to Chin-chen-Jos. 
This great temple was, originally, a garden, belonging to the fsmily of Ko ; about eight 
hundred yesrs since, a small Bodha temple was built and named, Tseen-tsow-sze, <* the 
temple of ten thousand autnmns." It remained an obeenre place ttU about the year 1600, 
whcm a priest of eminent devotion raised its character, and his disciple " Oh-tsxe," bf 
his superior talents and sanctity, together with ,a concnrrence of extraordinary circom- 
stances, raised the temple to its present magnificence and extent. During the reign of 
Kang He, the second of the reigning Tartar dynasty, in the year 1700, Canton province 
was not fully subjugated ; and the emperor*s son-in-law, entitled Ping-naw-wong, ** the 
subjugator of the soQth," reduced the whole to his father*s sway, and took up his head- 
quarters in the Honam temple, according to the Tartar and Chinese usage. There were, 
on the island, thirteen Tillages which he had orders to exterminate. Previously to car- 
rying into effect this order, the king, a blood-thirsty man, cast his eyes on Oh-tzze, a fat, 
happy, priest, and remarked, that Were he to live on a vegetable diet, he could not bo so 
iat^e must be a hypocrite, and should be punished with death. He drew his svroid to 
put in effect the sentence ; but the limb suddenly withered, and thus prevented its exe- 
cution. That night a divine person appeared to him in a dream, and warned hi^ that 
Oh-tzte was a holy man, and must not, unjustly, be killed. The following morning the 
lung preeented himself before Oh-tzze, confessed his crime, and immediately his arm 
was restored. He then did obeisance to the priest, Uxk. him for his preceptor and guide, 
and, morning and evening, waited on him as a servant. The thirteen villages heard of 
this miracle and solicited the priest to intercede in their behalf: he complied with their 
request, was successful, and the Honam villages were saved. Their gratitude to the 
priest was unbounded ; and estates, mceose, and money, were poured upon him. The 
king ako persuaded his officers to mako donations to the taiqile, and it became aiBoent 
from that day. A hall for the celestial kings was still wanting, and by seising a fish- 
pond belonging to a wealthy man who had refused to sell it, sufiScient ground was ob- 
tained upon which to build it. The pond was filled up and built upon within the shoit 
space of thirty days. It is sometimes called the Lok-wa-sse, '* the green temple.*' 

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ner of respect by the people. The temple is said to be immensely 
wealthy. These priests are of the sect of Firk, or Budha, and the 
temple, or rather succession of tem{de8, would, including the gardens, 
in which they raise large quantities of Yegetable and other fruits, 
cover an area of twelve acres. Their diet is composed of fruits 
and vegetables. - Meat and fowls being elcpressly forbidden Uiem. 
Entering under a gateway, guarded by strong wooden bars, we 
passed over a paved flagging, to what is called, '* Hill Gate.'' It 
retains this name, because the Budha priests affect to separate 
themselves from the rest of mankind, and to live among hills and 
mountains — hence, although a monastery be on a level plain, as it 
is here, the first gate leading thereto, is always called '^ Hill Gate.'' 
From *' Hill Gate," we proceeded to the " Sea screen," and from 
thence to the " Angler's eminence ;" the origin of the latter name, ' 
I could not ascertain. We proceeded onward to a building, having 
a roof similar to that seen on China ware, and which was placed 
transversely across the passage. The first objects which saluted 
our eyes, were two immense statues, in a standing position, occu- 
pying each side of the passage; they are called, ^'Huay Ha," 
warriors ; are not less than fifteen feet high, and present a most 
threatening aspect, having eyes nearly the size of a hat-crown, vritb 
a mouth of immense width, showing a long protruding fiery tongue ; 
these frightful objects were painted in gaudy colours and gilt ; 
before them were placed in white copper vessels — odoriferous 
matches in sand. They are thus placed, as guards to the 
temple of Budha. After passing a court-yard, similar to the first, 
I entered the pavilion or palace of the great celestial kings, con- 
taining four colossal statues, in a sitting posture, upward of twenty 
feet high, and gilt most fantastically, but having placid counte- 
nances. The roof is supported by thirty-two highly lacquered 
pillars. On the right and left, in two small pavilions, are two niili- 
tary demi-gods, guarding, as I suppose, the wings of the '^ great 
temple." The principal hall or pavilion, which I now entered, is 
called " The great, powerful, precious palace," and the " Golden 
coloured region ;" fronting the entrance is the *^ Precious Budhas," 
" The past," " present," and " to come," being three large gik 
images of Budha, called, in Chinese, Sam, Pow, and Fat. They 
are moderate in size, compared with the monsters in the rear of 
them. The artist aimed at givmg them a benign aspect, and if 

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immensely swollen cheeks, sleepy eyes, and a drunkard's coun- 
tenance,, form the true expression of the milder virtues, it may 
here be seen to perfection. On each side of the hall, eighteen dis- 
ciples of Budha, are arranged ; they are kept well dressed, by the 
gilder cgid painter, and appear to be very attentive to certain t^Uets 
placed before them, covered with inscriptions. 

Religious ceremonies are performed daily by the priests, before 
these divinities, dressed, generally, in long scarlet cloaks, with 
hoods, (similar in shape to those worn by ^e Roman Catholic 
priests when saying mass,) praying and kneeling occasionally, do* 
ing reverence with both hands, closed together flat, raised to the 
head, or lowered to the breast and waist ; and sometimes prostrating 
themselves to perform the ko-tow or knock*head ceremony, by 
striking their foreheads on the ground. During the time, incensa 
is burning before the altar, in the shape of economical matches^ 
highly odoriferous, being as slender as a knitting-needle, and are 
placed in white copper vessels. The roof of this great temple is 
supported by forty-two red lacquered pillars, having on them gilt 
inscriptions. The ceiling and rafters are so painted aa to give an 
agreeable effect The hall is about a hundred feet square. Another 
temple, to which we proceeded, stands in the rear of the great hall ; 
hiere is a single image of Amida Budha, in the Chinese languages, call- 
ed, '* Omb-to-Fat." In the rear of the hall is a white marble obelisk, 
having various idols carved upon it ; in the room, immediately be* 
hind this, is the palace of the goddess " Koon*Yan," who is much 
adored ; she is considered Budha ; for, as in Bengal, Budha is of. 
either sex, according to the statues or images. This haU or palace 
has in it the same number of pillars as that possessed by the great 
temple — forty-two. There are four buildings erected on the right 
wing of these temples, and five on the left, but all detached. First, 
and on the right, is the place of a military demi-god ; the second 
building, is a place for keeping alive domestic animals, pigs, fowls, 
ducks, and geese, agreeably to the leading doctrine of the sect, 
that no animal should be deprived of life ; the devout send these 
animals to the temple, when they make or pay vows, on return 
thanksi for favours received. It is evident that the pious depos- 
itor of the hogs could not have been a descendant of the ancient 
tribes of Israel, or he would not have shown so much affection, as 
to pirt them out to board within the precincts of the holy temple, 

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and keep a number of '^ celestials" in constant pay to attend to 
them. The third building contains the bookroom and printing- 
office-. In the fourth, in an upper room, are mcNre idols. The firsts 
on the left, is a pavilion, containing a military demi-god ; the 
seccmd is a reception-room, for visiters ; the third contains tho 
idol of '* Te-song-Wang," the king of Hades ^ the fourth holds th« 
great bell ; and the fifth is the chief priests' apartments. In these, 
IiOfd Amherst and his suite were lodged, 1816 and 1817, on his 
return from an unsuccessful embassy to the court, of Peking. 
Three other buildings close up the rear of the buildings, on the 
left wing^ the book-house, treasury, and refectory ; the latter wail 
dark and dirty, and sent forth a compound of ui^leasanl smells. 
The kitchen, the utensils of which, experience has taught them the 
inutility of cleaning, from their after liability to dirt, resembled, in 
condition, the refectory, which latter contamed only long wooden 
tables and benehes. In the rear of the last temple, is the kitchen- 
garden, and a small pavilion, erected to the memory of a deer, 
attached to its master. On the left is a mausoleum, in which the 
ashes of burnt priests are deposited once a year ; near to which is 
a little shabby house, where the ashes are kept in jars, till the time 
of the opening of the mausoleum. Farther on, in the garden, is 
the place in which the bodies of the priests are burned, in a small 
temple. Some pnests, who possess a little property, direct their 
remaiiis shall be buried ahd not burnt. The cloisters in the build* 
ing, on the right and left of the temple, are small and gloomy ; the 
walls are any thing but white, having k table, with a small altar, 
and a gayly-painted, ugly divinity on it ; a wooden stool completed 
the forniture. 

In one room a great number of tailors were at work, not for the 
poor and naked, but for these idle vagabonds. Passing through a 
small Tocm, we were invited by a member of the hoh/ priesthood, 
to take tea^ which was served up to us in the Chinese style, being 
made in the same cup from which we drank it, and taken without 
scigar or milk. Eight or ten sweetmeats formed the repast» the 
holy brotherhood standing around us during the time, ** thick as 
autumnal leaves in Yallambrosa," curious, doubtless, to know if 
mortals and harharians ate in the same way as the *^ eelestials." 

lliere are not less dian one hundred and twenty-four large and 
smaD temples in Canton ; and in the province, thirteen hundred 

. 10 

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and twepty-seren. PabDc akars are here, in great number^ dedi- the gods of the land and of graui, of the wind and clouds, 
of thunder and rain, of hills, rivers, &c. At these, as in all the 
temples, sacrifices and offerings, consisting of various animals, 
fish, fowls, fruits, sweetroeatSy cakes, and wines, are frequently 
presented, both by government officer^ and by private citizens. 
Numerous attendants are placed at the altars, within these temples 
of sacrifice, whose lives are devoted to. the service of the idols. On 
the birthday of the gods, and at other times, processions are fitted 
out at the various temples ; the images are borne in state through 
the principal streets in the city, attended by bands of musicians, 
priests, lads on horseback, girls riding in open sedans, old men 
and boys, bearing lanterns, incense, pots, flags, «nd other insignia; 
by lictors, with rattans, and soldiers, with wooden svitords. In 
addition to these processions, the different streets and trades have 
their religious festivals, which they celebrate with illununations, 
bonfires, songs, and theatrical exhibitions. Much extravagance is 
displayed on these occasions, each company and street striving to 
excel all its neighbours. The private and domestic altars, shrines 
crowded with household gods and daily offerings, of gilt paper, 
candles, incense, &c. ; together with numberless ceremonies, occa* 
sioned by nuptials, or the burial of the dead, complete the long 
catalogue of the rehgious rites and institutions, which are anp» 
ported by the people of Canton. The whole number of priests 
and nuns, (there are said to be a thousand of the latter,) is, prob- 
ably, not less than three thousand, and the annual expense of the 
one hundred and twenty-four temples, may be put down, on a 
moderate estimate, at two hundred thousand dollaq. An equal 
sum is required to support the annual monthly and semi-mondily 
festivals and daily rites, which are observed by the people, in 
honour of their gods. 

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HATiKtf given 9 description of the principal temples, &c^ I shall 
mow state some paiticulars relatiTe to the introduction of the Bud* 
UflB religion into China, and show what are the principles pro- 
fesised by its disciples, at the present day. 

In the sixty-fifth year of the Christian era, the emperor Ming-ta 
Hinted the first priests ; they were probably natives of Ceylon. — 
l%e invitation was ,^ven in consequence of dreams, which inform* 
ed him that the '' Holy One" was in the West. 
« The ancient Chinese worshippers retained some knowledge of 
« Supreme Being, yet the worship they paid to the visible heavens, 
ibb earth, rivers, buUs, and above all, to dragons and the gods of 
hads, was open idolatry. Subsequently, Confucius arose; he 
inculcated the necessity of reverencing those whom the ancients 
had worshipped. His wish was ta promote the social happiness 
of his countrymen, independently of the influence which religion 
exertaover a nation ; his groat aim was the introduction of decorum 
and order into all the duties of life ; and to the strict observance of 
external ceremonies, he reduced the whole of religion. His system 
being found very deficient, Taou-tze, the mystic philosopher, 
stepped forward to supply the wants of the multitude by his 
abstruse speculatioas. According to his system, all nature is filled 
with demons and genii, who constantly influence the fate of man. 
He increased the number of idol gods to an enormous amount, and 
attempted to define with scholastic precision, their nature and 
ciflSices. His demonology wanted perspicuity and contained too 
many palpable absurdities to be generally received. Some of th# 

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emperors, though declaring themselTes belieyers in Taouism^ 
could never introduce a general acquiescence in doctrines which no 
(me understood. China wanted a creed which every man might 
understand ; and the Budhists supplied the desideratum ; — ^a^^com- 
modating their doctrines to all existing superstitions, they opened 
the door to every description of convert, who might retain as many 
of his old prejudices as he chose : they were not rigorous in 
enforcing the obligations of morahty ; to expiate sins, offerings to 
the idols and priests were sufficient. 'A temple built in honour of 
any idol and richly endowed, would suffice to blot out every stain 
of guilt and serve ds a portal to the blessed mansions of Budha. 
When death approached, they promised to each of their votaries, 
speedy promotion in the scale of metempsychosis until he should 
be absojHbed in Nirupan or Nirvana — nonentity. With these pros- 
pects, the poor deluded victim left the world. To facilitate his 
release from purgatory, the ghostly hypocrites said mass, and sup- 
plied the wants of the hungry departed spirit with rich offerings of 
food, of which the latter enjoyed only the odour, while the priests 
devoured the substance. As Confucius had raised the veneration 
for ancestors into idolatrous worship, these priests were ready to 
perform their pious offices before the tablets of the dead. Thus 
they be<iame ingratiated with the credulous niultitudey who were 
too happy to avail themselves of their cheap services. But not- 
withstanding the acconunodating spirit of their creed, the Chinese 
government has at times disa|^roved of it. As the sanctity of 
marriage has been acknowledged in China from time immemorial 
and almost every person at years of maturity has been obliged to 
enter into that state, the celibacy of the priesthood of Budha was 
considered as a very dangerous custom. 

Budha regarded contemplation and exemption firom worldly 
caies, as the nearest approach to bliss ; his followers, therefore, in 
imitation of their master, passed and inculcated lives of indolence, 
and practised begging, as the proper means of niaintaining them- 
selves. This mode of livelihood was diametrically opposed to the 
political institutions of China, where even the emperor does not 
disdain to plough. It was also in opposition to the actual condi- 
tion and wants of the people ; a system of idleness, in the immense 
population of the empire, would have been followed by actual 
•tarvatiooy and a consequent serious diminuticm in the number of 

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mm BtTDHisM. 77 

inhabitants ; for it is by the utmost exertion that they are able to 
subsist. These serious objections to the foreign creed, furnished 
its enemies with weapons hy which to destroy it. It was pro* 
scribed as a dangerous heresy, and a cruel persecution followed ; 
but it had taken too deep root to be easily eradicated. Among 
some of the emperors too, it found abettors and disciples. Yet it 
never became a religion of the state, nor were its priests ever able 
to exercise any permanent influence over the populace. The 
Chinese are too rational a people to believe, implicitly, all the Bud- 
histic fables, nor can they persuade themselves that the numerous 
images are gods. When we add to this, their national apathy 
towards every thing connected with religion, they being entirely 
engrossed with the things of this life, we can easily account for 
their disesteem of Budhism. Nor can we wonder that they wor- 
ship at one time, the divinities they despise at another, for ancient 
custom bids them follow in the track of their ancestors, without 
inquiry or doubt, even when they cannot but ridicule its absurdities. 
The priests of Budha are a very despised class, and spring 
chiefly from the lowest and most ignorant of the people. Their 
morals are notoriously bad, and pinching poverty has made them 
cringing and servile. They wander abroad in search of some 
trifling gift, and often encounter a very harsh refusal. 

Those temples which are well endowed by their founders, 
are crowded with priests, so that only a few among the higher 
orders of them can be rich. Stupidity, with a few exceptions, is 
their reigning characteristic ; neither skill nor learning is to be 
found among them. Budha seems to have intimated that stupidity 
brings the votary nearer to the blissful state of apathy, and there- 
fore a knowledge of his institutions is considered as the only 
requisite to form an accomplished priest. The Budhists have no 
schools or seminaries, for the instruction of their believers, seldom 
strive for literary honours, and are even excluded from the list of 
candidates, so long as they remain priests. Few among them are 
serious in the practice of their own religion ; they are in the most 
complete sense of the words, sullen and misanthropic, and live a 
very secluded life. But religious abstraction and deep contempla- 
tion, with utter oblivion of existence, appear to be out of vogue. 
The halls of contemplation are the haunts of every vice. Such 
effiK:ts must follow where the mind is unoccupied, and the hands 

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78 ' BMBAS8T TO THE EAST. lOetnter, 

unemployed in any good work. The nuns are less numerous and 
more industrious than the pnests. It is a general: observation that 
nearly all the temples of Budha are in a dilapidated state ; the 
contributions of devotees not nieeting the expenses of repairs. 
These erections are very numerous ; there is scarcely a small 
village that has not onei and few romantic and beautiful spots can 
be found free from these seats of idolatry. 

The similarity of the rites of this superstition with those bf papa- 
cy, are striking : every one who visits the monasteries can at once 
discover the resemblance. That they should count their prayers 
by means of a rosary, and chant masses both for the living and the 
dead, live in a state of celibacy and shave their hair, &c., might 
perhaps be accounted for by a mere coincidence of errors into 
which men are prone to fall; but their divine adoration of Teen- 
how, " the queen of heaven," must be a tenet engrafted upon Bud- 
hism from foreign traditions. We are unable to fix the exact 
period at which this deity was ado|^ed. There is a legend of 
modem date among the people of Farh-keen, which tells us that 
she was a virgin oS that province, who, in a dream, saw her kin- 
dred in danger of being wrecked, and boldly rescued th^n ; but 
this affords no satisfactory solution; neither is ''the queen of 
heaven," among the deities which the Siamese Budhists worship^ 
though they possess the whole orthodox code of demons. It is 
probable that some degenerate Nestorian Christians amalgamated 
with their faith and ceremonies, the prevailing errors of China, and 
persuaded the priests of Budha to adopt many of their rites. 

Though tlie Siamese priesthood resembles the papal cleigy, it 
does not exhibit so striking a similarity as the Chinese. More- 
over, the Budhists of China have received all the sages which have 
been canonized by the emperors or by public credulity. Mr. 
Gutzlaff says be saw, in one instance^ a marble bust of Napoleon, 
which they had placed in a temple, and before which they burned 
incense ; hence it would not be surprising if they had also adopt- 
ed among their gods so conspicuous an object of worship as die 
" virgin," who was adored by so many millions of Christians. The 
present dynasty seems to have declared itself in favour of the great 
Da-lai-lama of Thibet. As the Mongols on the northern frontier are 
much devoted to the rites of Shamanism, and worship its presiding 
deity^ it was perhaps with a view to cdnciliatethe good will and keep 

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is rabjection these wild hordes^ that the preference was manifested. 
The religioa of these barbarians being a modification of Budhism, 
we might expect that the Chinese government would equally extend 
its benevolence to the Budhist of China. Such does not appear to be 
the fact; they are tolerated but receive no stated support from the 
government ; to some temples the emperors may extend his individ- 
ual charit3% but this is not governmental patronage. If the high offices 
of the state occasionally favour this sect, they never openly avow 
il ; such a disclosure would derogate from their fame and expose 
them to the ridicule of their colleagues. In the midst of all these 
difficulties a numerous priesthood do find subsistence. On cer- 
tain festivals the temples are crowded to excess, and the exclama- 
tion, '* O-me-to^uh" is familiar to the ear of every one who visits 
them. I have thus given a sketch of Budhism, a religion which 
strikes at the root of human society, in enjoining celibacy as the 
nearest approach to perfection, and in commanding its disciples to 
abandon relatives and friends, without fulfilling their duties as 
citizens, parents and children. We are bound to concede that this 
unnatural restraint is the source of vice and crime ; at the same 
time we must in justice admit that Budhism does not sanction shock- 
ing rites, or Bacchanalian orgies, like other idolatrous systenis in 
Asia ; nor have we to complain of that indecency in its idol ex- 
hibitions, which is common to the religion of the Hindoos ; the 
wooden deities are hideous, but never repulsive to the feelings of 
modesty. The ^mples are open to all, and serve occasionally 
for theatres, gambling-houses and taverns. The Chinese Budhists 
are a temporizing sect ; their abstinence from animal food is not 
^ery strict They seldom defend their idols, or appear much an- 
noyed when they are treated with contempt; — ^their toleration 
arises firom indifference ; all religions, with them, are equally safci 
but theirs is the best. They have no desire to proseljrte, their 
numbers being already too great, and are &r from spiritualizing 
their idolatrous systems. They talk of hungry demons and of the 
BIMritual presence of the idols in their statues, but this is all. To 
assert they adore one Supreme Being in their idolatrous represent- 
ations of his attributes, is to state an opinion that never found a place 
in their thoughts, or in their canonical works. They are Without 
God in the world, and estranged from the divine life, worshipping 
tbe works of their own hands, to the disgrace of human reason^ 

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Having previously alluded to the Buperstitious rites performed 
by the Chinese, at the tombs of their ancestors, parents and friends, 
I here give a more detailed description .of this idolatrous custom, 
together with an account of the gluttonous and dranken feast, 
which is the finale of what is misnamed a religious observance. 
The description is translated from an original Chinese com- 
position : — 

That this custom did not exist anterior to the age of Confu- 
cius is inferred from the words of Mericius, who affirms that in the 
preceding ages men did not even inter their deceased kindred but 
threw their dead bodies into ditches, by the roadside. As they 
bad no tombs there could be no sacrifices performed at them. 
Confucius directed tumuli to be raised, in order to mark the place 
of interment ; this is the first inUmation of tombs, given among 
the Chinese. In raising these tumuli there was probably no other 
intention than that of erecting a mark to the abodes of the dead. 
It is also knq^n that children, in that early age, would remain ia 
temporary sheds, for years near the grave of a parent, to '^ sor- 
row as those without hope." But we proceed to exhibit the prer* 
ent state of these ceremonies as being all that is of practical 
utility, in deciding the question at issue. The Chinese visit the 
tombs, twice a year, in spring, and in autumn. The first visit is 
called tsing-mingy. " clear bright," in reference to the fine weather,, 
which is then expected : the second is called tsewtse^ ^' the au- 
tumnal sacrifice." The rites performed during tsing-ming^ are 
those riiost generally attended by the Chinese. Their govern- 
ors teach that the prosperity of individuals and of famihes depends 
greatly on the position, dryness, and good repair of their parents* 
graves. Therefore, " to sweep" and repair them, to mark their 
limits, and to see that they are not encroached upon by others, are 
the objects of visits to the tombs. When there are large clans, 
which have descended from the same ancestors, living in tlie same 
neighbourhood, they repair in great numbers, to the performance 
of the sacrificial rites. Rich and poor, all assemble. Even beg- 
gars repair to the tombs, to kneel down and worship. This usage 
is known by the phrases saou-fun-moOf ''sweeping the tombs," and 
paeshan^ " worshipping the tumuli.^ To omit these observances, 
is considered a great offence against moral propriety, and a breach 
of filial duty. The common belief is that good fortune^ domestic 

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Wmi CSRSM0NIB8. 81 

prosperity, honours and riches, all depend t)n an impulse giTen 
at the tombs of ancestors. Hence, the practice is universal ; and 
when the mea are absent firom their families, the women go ta 
perform the rites. . > . 

On some of these occasicms, eyen where there are two or three 
thousand members of a clan, some possessing great wealth, and 
others holiUng high rank in the state, all, old and ycnmg, rich and 
poor, fltre summoned to meet at the tsoo-tstmg Uze-tang^ '^the an* 
eestral hall.'* Pigs are slaughtered ; sheep are slain; and all sorts 
of offerings and sacrifices are provided in abundance. The pro- 
cessions from the hall to the tombs, on these occasions, are formed 
in the niost grand style, which the official rank of the principal 
persons will achnit — ^with banners, tablets, gongs, &c., &c., &c. All 
present, old men and boys, iure dressed in the best robes which 
they can procure; and thus escorting the victims for sacrifice, and 
carrying >wine for oblations, they proceed to the tombs ol their an« 
cestors, and arrange the whole in order, preparatory fo the grand 
ceremony. There is a choo tse, " lord of the sacrifice,** appointed 
to officiate as priest, a master of ceremonies, to give the word of 
command, and two stewards to aid in the performance of the Tites. 
There is also a reader to recite the prayer ; and a band of lnusi« 
cians, drummers, gorig-beaters, &c. 

After all things are in readiness, the whole party stands still tiD 
the ^' master" gives the word. He first cries witli a loud voice : 
** Let the official persons take their places :" this is inunediately 
done, and the ceremonies proceed. 

Master. '' Strike up the softer music.'* Here the smaller instru^ 
ments begin to play. 

Master. " Kneel.'* The priest then kneels in a central place». 
fironting the grave, and behind him, arranged in order, the aged 
and the honourable, the children and grandchildren, all kneel down. 

Master. " Present the incensJe.** Here the stewards take three 
sticks of incense, and present them to the priest. He rises, makes 
a bow towards the grave, and then plants one of the sticks in an , 
immense vase, in front of the tombstone. The same form is re* 
peated a second and a third time. 

Master. " Rise up.** The priest and the party stand ^p. 

Master. *' Kneel.** Again the priest and all the people kneel 


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8S BMBA»8TT0TBBBA8T- rocioli^ 

Master. " Knock head.'' Here all bending forward, and leaning 
on their hands, knock their foreheads against the ground. 

Master! " Again knock head." This is forthwith done. 

Master. " Knock head a third time." This is also done. Them 
he also calls out : Ri^e up ; kneel ; knock head ; — till the tluree 
kneelings, and the nine knockings are. completed. All this- is done 
in the same manner as the highest jsict of homage ' is paid to the 
emperor, or of worship, to the supreme powers, heaven and eaxth. 
This being ended, the ceremonies proceed. 

* Master. " Fall prostrate." Tfcis is done by touching the ground 
with his knees, hands and forehead. 

Master. ** Reiad the prayer." Here the reader approaches the front 
of the tomb, holding in his hands a piece of white paper, on which 
is written one of the sacrificial forms of prayer. These forms are 
generally much the same ; differing sUgfatly according to the wish 
of the composer. The form states the time ; the name of the clan 
which come to worship and offsr sacrifice ; beseeches the shades 
to descend and enjoy the sacrifice, to grant protection and pros- 
perity to their descendants, that in all succeeding generations they 
may wear official caps, may enjoy riches, and honours, and never 
become extinct, that by the help of the souls in hades, the depart-* 
ed spirits, and the living on earth may be happy, and illustrious 
throughout myriads of ages. The prayer being finished, the mas* 
ter cries : *^ OiTer up the gold and the j»recious things." Here one 
of the stewards presents gilt papers to the priest, and he bowing 
towards the grave, lays xhem down before it. 

Master. '^ Strike upi the grand music." Here gongs, drums, 
trumpets, &c., axe beaten and blown to make a noise as loud as 

Master. ^ Bum the gold and silver, and precious things." Here 
all the youhg men and children burn the gilt papers, fire off crack- 
ers, rockets, &:c. 

Such is the sum of a grand sacrifice at the tombs of ances- 
tors. But to many, the best part of the ceremony is to come, 
which is thefecLSt of the sacrifice. The roast pigs, rice, fowls, 
fish, fruits, and liquors, are carried back to the ancestral hall ; 
where according to age and dignity, the whole party sit down to 
eat, drink and play. The grandees discuss the condition of the, 
hall, and other topics connected with the honour of the clan^ the 

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young men Carouse, and provoke each other to ** drink deep.** 
Some set out for home^ with a catty or two of the divine flesh, 
which- had been used in sacrifice; others stay till they wrangle 
and fight, and night puts an end to the entertainment. 

Those who live remote from the tombs, or who have no ances- 
tral hall, eat their saerifice on the ground at the sepulchres. The 
poor imitate their superiors, at an humble distance. Although they 
.have no hall, no procession or music, they provide three sorts of 
victims, a pig, a goose, and a fish ; some fhiits, and a little distilled 
liqu<nrs — for spirituous liquors are used on all these occasions. After 
presenting these at the tomb, they kneel, knock' head, and orally or 
mentally pray for the aid of their ancestors' souls to make the exist- 
ing and all future generations of descendants, rich and prosperous. 

In these rites there is some difference in the wording of the 
prayer, according as it is presented to remote ancestors or to lately 
deceased parents or friends ; but the general import is the samei 

Further to illustrate the modes '* in which the Chinese worship 
Confucius and the deceased," we subjoin the following extracts^ 
firom the Indo-Chinese Gleaner : — 

From the Shing-meaou^che, volume first, page second, it appears 
that there are, ia China, more than one thousand^ Jive hundred and 
sixty temples dedicated to Qpnfucius. At the spring and autum* 
nal sacrifices offered to him, it is calculated in the above-named 
wori£, that there are immolated (on the two occasions) annually, 
BIX buUodLS, twenty-seven thousand pigs, five thousand eight hun- 
dred sheep, two thousand eight hundred deer; and twenty-seven 
thousand rabbits. 

Thus, there are annually sacrificed to Confucius, in China, sivty» 
two thouscmdi six hundred and six victims ; it is added, there are 
offered at the same time, twenty-seven thousand, six hundred 
pieces of silk. What becomes of these does not appear. 

It has justly been remarked that a nation's civilization mayjbe 
estimated by the rank which females hold in society. If the civil- 
ization of China be judged of by this test, she is far from occupying 
that first place which she so strongly claims. Females have 
always been regarded with contempt by the Chinese. Theu 
ancient sages seem to have considered them scarcely worthy of 
their attention. The supi of the duties they require of them is, to 
submit to the will of their masters. The. lady, sdy they, who is to 

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be betrothed to a husband, ought to follow UiQdly the wishes of 
her parents, yielding implicit obedience to their will. From the 
moment when she is joined in wedlock, she ceases to exist ; her 
whole being is absorbed in. that of. her lord ; she ought to know- 
nothing but his will, and to deny herself in order to please hin». 
Pan-hwrtj/'parif who is much admired as an historian,' composed a 
book of instructions for her own sex, in which she treats of thdr 
proper station in. society, the deportment they should exhibit, and 
the duties they ought to perform. She teaches them that they 
'^ hold the lowest rank anK>i)^ mankind, and that employm^ts 
the least honourable, ought to be, and in fact are, their lot." She 
inculcates entire submission to their husbands, and tells them in 
Tery plain terms that they ought to beeome> abject slaves, in order 
to become good wires. We cannot expect that these doctrines, 
inculcated as they are, by a lady, who ought to advocate the cause 
of her sex, and by one held in so high repute as is Pan-humy-pan, 
will be overlooked by the '^ lords of creation ;" especially as they 
ftocord so perfectly with their domineering disposition, in China* 

Confucius, the prince of letters, divorced his wife without as» 
signing any came for so doing ; and his followers have invariably 
adopted similar arbitrary measures in their treatment of females. 
The price which is paid to the parents of the bride, cc»istitutes her 
at once a saleable commodity, and causes her to be regarded as 
differing little from a mere stave. In the choice of a partner for 
life^ she is entirely passive, is carried to the house of the bride* 
pooin, and there disposed of, for life, by her parents. 

The birth of a female is a matter of grief in China. The father 
and mother, who had already hoped in the unborn babe to embrace 
a son, feel disappointed at the sight of a daughter. Many vows 
and offerings are nuide before th^r idols in order to propitiate their 
favour, and secure the birth of a son. The. mercy of the compas-^^ 
•ionate Kuan-yin, especially, is implored to obtain this precious 
gift ; but after they have spent large sums of money in this pious 
work, the inexorable goddess fills the house with mourning at the 
birth of a daughter. ^' Anciently," says Pan-Jwrny-pan, " die fe- 
male infant was thrown upon some old rags, by the side of its 
mother's bed, aod for three days was scarcely spoken or thought 
ef. At the end of that time it was carried to a temple by a father, 
accompanied by attendants vrith bricks and tiles in their *hands»> 

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The bricks dnd tiles," sa^s Pan*hwny-pan, in her comment on these 
facts, " signify the contempt >and sufiering which are to be' her 
companions and her portion — bncks are of no use except to form 
enclosures and to be trodden underfoot ; tiles are useless except 
when they are exposed to the injuries of the air.'*' The Sheking, 
one of the venerated books, says, 

* " When a daughter it bote, 

She 8lee{>8^ on the ground, 

She is clothed witfi a wxapper : 

She plays with a tile :' 

She is incapable either o£ evil or good.** 

Tbi» last assertion is thus explained ; ii she does ill^ she is not a 
woman-^and if she does well she is not a woman ; a slavish sub- 
Daission is her duty and her highest praise.** At the present day^ 
as well as anciently, the female infant is not unfireiquently an object 
of disgust to its parents, and of contempt to all the inmates of the 
faaaily. As she grows up, her feet are so confined and cramped 
that they can never exceed the size of infancy. This process 
entirely incapacitates her from walking with ease or safety. Small 
feet, that badge of bt>ndage which deprives the Chinese females of 
the power of locomoticm, confines them to the inner apartments, 
except when poverty forces them to earn their livehhdod abroad 
by labour, which is rendered exceedingly difficult imd, painful if 
accompanied by vralkiAg. Females of the higher class seldom 
leave the house, except in sedan-chairs. Their lives are biit an 
honourable captivity. ^ They have few or no real enjoyments-^are 
exceedingly ignorant — ^very few of them being able to read. They 
live and die litde more than ciphers in human society. Pale and 
emaciated, they spend the greatest part of their lives in embellish- 
ing their persons ; while females of the poorer classes, whose feet 
are necessarily permitted to grow to the size which the God of 
nature designed, perform all the drudgery of husbandry and other 
kinds of work. These last are in general very industrious, and 
prove to be helpmates to their husbands. Being remarkable for 
their good, sound understanding, they manage thei» families with a. 
care and prudence, and, so far as industry aiid economy are con- 
cerned, they are exemplary mothers. "Nothwithstanding the deg- 
radation in which they «re held, they are generally far superior 
in intellect to the conunon cast of Asiatic women — are very 

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86 EMfiA88Y TO THE EAST. (OcMwr, 

ingenious in their needlework, &;c. To be a good moiher, in the 
estimation of this class of the Chinese, a woman must be a weaver. 
It is to be regr^ted, that they have very Uttle regard for the clean- 
liness either of their persons or houses ; their children crawl in 
the dirt, and the few articles of furniture in their dwelUngs are 
covered with filth. 

Infanticide of females is not unknown among Ae Chines^. 
They are far from regarding this crime, with the horror it deserves. 
^' It is only a female," is the answer generally given wh^ they are 
reproved for it. 

The account of the Charitable Institutions of Canton is brief. 
They are few in number, of small extent, and of recent origin : — 

First: Yuh-ying-tang, or the "foundling hospital." This 
institution was founded in 1698, and it was rebuilt and considera- 
bly enlarged in 1732. It stands without the wall^ of the city, on 
the east — ^has accommodatioiis for two or three hundred children, 
and is maintained at an annual expense of two thousand^ five hun- 
dred and twenty-two taels. 

Second : , Yang-tse-yuen.-r-This is a retreat for poor, aged and 
infirm, or blind people, who have no friends to support them. It 
stands near the foundling hospital, and like it, enjoys imperial pa- 
tronage, receiving annually, fiva thousand, one hundred taels. Both 
this sum, and that for yuh-ying-tang, are received in part, or whol- 
ly, from duties, paid by those foreign sHips which bring rice to 
Canton. Every such ship must pay the sum of six hundred and 
twenty taels, which, by imperial order, is appropriated to these two 
hospitals. The number of "rice-ships," last year, was twenty- 
eight, yielding the sum 6f seventeen thousand, three hundr^ and 
sixty taels. The English, American, Dutch, Spanish, and Portu- 
'guese, are the only foreign vessels that bring rice to Canton, 

Third: Ma-fung-yuen, or the "hospital for lepers." This is 
also on the east side of the city ; the number of patients in it^ ia 
three hundred and forty-one, who are supported at an expense of 
three hundred taels per annum ! The condition of the three hos- 
pitals, if such they may be called, is wretched in the extreme. 
The foundlings are often those children which have been exposed ; 
and who, when grown up, are often sold, and not unfrequently, for 
the worst of purposes. Such is a specimen of the benevolent 
institutions of the celestial empire ! 

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The goyernment, in times of calamity and scarcity, grant small 
gratuities to the distressed, but the amount is so trifling, the diffi- 
culty of obtaining it so great, that it is not worth the time lost in 
seeking for it. During the month of August, 1 833, owing to heavy 
gales, accompanied with much rain, the rivers overflowed their 
banks, and these united calamities destroyed & vast number of the 
humble dwellings of the poor. The government, knowing the 
great distress of many thousands, sent surveyors to take a list of 
the sufierers. About Jive months aftei^ard, the two magistrates 
who divide &e city of Canton between them, gave'^public notice, 
that the sums subscribed by the public for their relief, would be 
paid out in the following proportions, viz. : '* To the poor, who 
were unable to rebuild their houses^two mace, five candareens," 
(about forty cents,) and if they were altogether destitute, two 
months' food in addition, viz.', for every " big mouth," two mace 
arid seven candareens : to every " little mouth," (child's,) one half of 
that sum. The aged and feeble who are unable to reach the dis- 
tributing officer without several days' hard struggle, are frequently 
obliged to give up the scanty pittance, and depend upon the cold 
charities of the world, or otherwise find their ^rave On the road- 
side in a loathsome ditch. 

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The name of Canton on Chinese maps, is written Kwang^tang- 
sang-ching, that is, the capital of the province of Kwang-tung, but 
when speaking of the city^, the natives call it san-ching, the '' pror 
yincial city,'* or the " capital of the province." It is built on the 
north bank of Choo-keang or Pearl river, stands inland and is'^in 
a direct line, about sixty miles from ^^ the great sea.'' The scene- 
ry around the city, in the adjacent country, is rich and diversified, 
but deficient in boldness or grandeur. - 

On the north and northeast of the city, the country is hilly and 
mountainous. In every other direction a wide prospect opens to 
the view of the beholder. The rivers and canals, which are very 
numerous, abound with fish, and are covered with a great variety 
of boats, which are continually passing to and from the neighbour- 
ing tovms and villages. Southward from the city, as far as the 
eye can see, the waters cover a considerable portion, perhaps a 
third of the whole surface. Rice-fields, and gardens, occupy the 
lowlands, which are diversified with a few hills, rising here and 
there, to relieve the otherwise unbroken aspect. The extent of the 
city, including all within and without the walls, is not very great ; 
though very populous, it derives its chief importance from its ex- 
tensive domestic and foreign trade. Canton is one of the oldest 
cities in this part of the empire ; since the foundations were first 
laid, it has undergone numerous changes. 

It is not easy, perhaps impossible, to determine its original site 
and name, or to ascertain the time in which it was first built. Al* 
though either of the questions is unimportant to the reader, a 
brief account of what the Cbihese themselves narrate, respecting 


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90 EMBASSY TO THE EAST. [Oetater. 

one of their largest and . most populous cities, may interest him. 
Their classics speak of Canton being in existence four thousand 
years since; that it was then called Nan-keaon, and Ming-too, 
" the splendid capital." It first began to pay tribute to the empe- 
rors of China in the year B. C. 1123. The historians of the em- 
pire are only able to trace the origin of Canton to the last 
emperors of the Chow dynasty, two thousand years since ; it was 
then surrounded by a stockade, composed of bamboo and mud. 
We find it was but little visited by foreign vessels till the year one 
thousand before Christ, when they held intercourse with eight 
" barbarous" nations, from Teeu-chuh (India.) 

In the time of the western or Han dynasty, two hundred years 
previously to the Christian era, persons came from Canton, Loo- 
whang-che an4 other nations in the south. The nearest nation 
was about ten days' journey and the most remote, five months'; 
their tenitories were large and populous and they possessed rare 
commodities. In the year one hundred and seventy-sLx of Chrisl, 
vessels from India and Egypt, or Arabia, '' came with tribute ;" 
from this time trade was carried on with foreigners, at Canton. 
In the year seven hundred, an imperial commissioner was first 
appointed to receive " fixed duties ;" ninety-five years subsequently, 
all foreign vessels (owing to gross extortion) resorted to Cochin- 
China. After the fall of the Tang dynasty, A. D. 906, five dy- 
nasties arose, reigned and ifell, within a period of fifty-three years. 
A tribute in gold, silver, ivory and other valuable commodities, was 
sent to the successor of Tang^ to the amount of five millions of 
taels. In consequence of this acknowledgment, the emperor cre^ 
ated Lewyen, ^\ King of Canton" or " King of the Southern sea.** 
At this period, the court of Canton was cruel in the extreme — 
criminals were flayed, boiled and roasted, thrown on spikes, and 
forced to fight with tigers and elephants. The city was freed from 
the monster, (Lewyen,) by the founder of the Shang. dynasty, in 
the year of the Christian era, nine hundred and sixty-four; it sub- 
sequently became more prosperous and beautiful ; witches and 
wizards were prohibited ; sorcery was interdicted ; the temples 
which had been built for the practice of superstitious rites, were 
thrown.down; the people were forbidden- to offer the sacrifice of 
human hfe, to d^hiona ; they were enjoined to relieve the suffeiers 
from noxious diseases which are prevalent ; dispensaries of medi* 

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cine were established ; "oseless and extravagant articles of apparel 
were discountenanced, and pearls and ornaments for head'Kiresses 
were disallowed. In the year one thousand and sixty seven, a 
wall, about Iwo English miles in circumference, enclosed the city 
to protect it against the Cpchin-Chinese.. In the year twelve hun- 
dred, ^^ foreigners resident^ received metals, silks, dec, and in re- 
turn, they^ gave rhinoceroses horns, elephant's teeth^ coral, pearls, 
gems, crystals, foreign cloth, pepper, red-wodd, and drugs. In the , 
year fourteen hundred, one hundred and twenty houses were built 
for the accommodation of foreigners. — ^In sixteen hundred and forty 
seven, the present Tartar family came into power ; Canton was 
summoned to submit to its new master; on refusing, its walls were 
beaten down with great cannon, and on the twenty-fourth of No- . 
yember, sixteen hundred and fifty, it was taken : — ^for six days the 
inhabitants ^ were given to the sword," the city was plundered — 
and upward of seven hundred thousand persons were slain, du- 
ring the siege, and six days' slaughter : " every house was left 
desolate T only one house remains standing which was built before 
the sacking of the old city. That part of the city which is walled 
in is nearly square, and divided by a partition-wall, nmning firom 
east to west ; the northern, much the largest part, is called the " old 
city;'' the southern portion, more recently built,. the ''new city.** 

The circuit of the wall does not exceed six miles : its southern 
part, running east and west, is^ parallel with the river, from which 
it is removed about fifteen or twenty rods : on this side are the 
" Foreign Factories f on the north, the city rests on the brow of 
the hill, and is at its highest point about two hundred and fifty feet 
above the surface of .the river. The foundation and lower part of 
the waD, the arches and the gates, are fonped of coarse sandstone ; 
its remaining portion is built with soft brick. The walls are from 
twenty-five to forty feet high, and from twenty to twenty-five feet 
thick ; the north side being the piost substantial ; on the east side 
the elements have made great havoc : a line of battlements with 
embrasures surmounts the walls, in the rear of which is a broad 
pathway. Two short walls, designed to block up the narrow 
space between the main wall and the ditches of the city, extend 
from its southeast and southwest comers ; through each of these 
there is a gate. 

The dty has sixteen gates, of w;hich twelve are outer, and four 

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open through the wall which separates the old from the new city; 
they are all guarded by soldiers, closed at an early hour in the 
evening, and opened at dawn of day. Th^ streets and buildings 
in the suburbs are similar to those in the city, the houses of which 
occupy the whole space between the wcM and the river on its 
southern side ; on its eastern quarter they are much less eztensiye ; 
and in its northern dirision there are only a few solilaiy huts. 
The houses on the south are generally built against .the wall 
which they overlook. 

ITie suburbs are scarcely less extensive and populous than the 
city, in which there are upward of six hundred streets, flawed 
with large stones, chiefly of granite ; they vary in width from two 
to sixteen feet, the medium and most usual breadth being from six 
to eight. 

These narrow streets are usually thronged by a numerous mot- 
ley group ^ through many of them, the pedestrian in the rear is 
liable to tread on the heels of the leader ; the stout, half-naked, 
vociferating porters, carrying every description 'of merchandise, 
and the nimble sedan-bearers, make up, in noise and bustle, for 
the deficiency of carts and carriages : these, together with the nu- 
merous travellers, various kinds of retailers, pedlars, and beggars, 
present before the spectator a scene of great animation and end- 
less variety. Many of the visiters and much <rf the merchandise 
arecoiiveyed into the city by means of canals or ditches, of which 
there are several ; one of the largest extends along the whole 
length of the wall on the east, and another on the west side of the 
city, so that boats can pass through and out by either canal. The 
eastern, western, and southern suburbs of the city are also ftur* 
nished with large canals, into which a number of smaller tributa- 
ries flow : the Chinese term these ditches " the veins of the city." 
Reservoirs are found here, but none of them are extensive : much 
of the water is supplied from the river and canals ; wells are not 
unfrequent, and rainwater is used for making tea, &c. ; fine whole- 
some water is also furnished from numerous springs, which rise in 
the north of the city, both within and without the walls. Sevnral 
bridges (some of which are of stone) are thrown over the canals. 

The Chinese of the present day have , seldom ventured or de- 
sired to step beyond the limits which circxmiscribed the efforts of 
their remote ancestors ; they have been equally slow and unwilling 

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mu PLACS or honour. 93 

to adopt or imitate the usages and unproveinents of distant for- 
eigners, and glory in this, their prominent characteristic : hence 
without much claim to originality, they are exceedingly unlike the 
nations of the West. " 

In giving a description of this people, or any thuig which ap- 
pertains to them, we must not therefore form our estimate by the 
criterion of European taste or utoge. With the Chinese the left, 
as the place of honour, takes precedence of the right ; white is the 
badge of mourning. From the peculiar construction of their com- 
pass, called Chenan, chay, ** a chariot pointing towards the south," 
they do not number the cardinal points in our order, but almost al- 
ways mention the south before the north ; the west before the east ; 
instead of saying north, they say, west-north ; west-south, &:c. 
Without attempting to account for this contrariety, it is obvious 
that the fact itself should be kept in mind, while surveying the 
Tarieas works, occupations, institutions and habits of the Chinese. 

It is generally supposed that the remote ancestors o( this peo* 
pie, in the migration eastward, dwelt in tents ; dieir circumstances 
would require such habitations ; when they became stationary, 
dietr wants would prompt them to seek a more substantial cover* 
ing ; but their houses, pagodas, and temples, of tlje present day, 
bear evident poroofs that this early covering from the heat and 
storm, was the only model which presented itself for imitation, 
in the erection of more secure and permanent habitations. The 
roof, concave on its upper side ; and the veranda, with its slender 
columns, show most distinctly the original features of the tent ; 
the whole fabric of the ordinary buildings is Ught and slender, 
retaining the outlines of its primeval simplicity. They therefore, 
wiU seek in vain, who expect to find here stately edifices, built 
after the Grecian or the Gothic model. 

Barrow, after having visited the imperial palaces, and travelled 
6xMn north to south, through the whole breadth of the empire, af- 
firms, that all the buildings of the Chinese are without elegance 
or convenience of design, without any settled proportion ; nlean in 
their appearance, and clumsy in their workmanship. Macartney 
was much better pleased with their architecture'; thoi^gh it is 
totally unlik& any other, and irreconcilable to our rules, yet, in 
perfect consistence with its own, it frequently produces a most 
|deasing effect. 

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The buildings of Canton present as great a variety in itmoture 
and style as can be found in the whole empire. 

A large part of the city and suburbs, is built on low ground or 
fiats. Special care is therefore required to secure a solid bms, 
for houses and temples. 

Near the river, and in all the most loose and maddy situations, 
houses are raised on wooden piles, which make the foundation as 
secure as brick or stone, perhaps, even more so. In some cases 
the piles rise above the surface of the ground, the buildings con- 
structed of wood, resting directly upon them : in other instances, 
the piles reach only within a few feet of the stirface, and the re> 
maimng part of the foundation is made of mud, brick, or stone ; 
when this is finished, the walls are usually carried up and com* 
pleted with the same material. Many of the houses are nearly 
baseless, or have only a slender foundation composed of mud, of 
which also the walls stre composed ; hence, in severe rain, storms, 
and overflowings of the river, of . which soma have recently taken 
place, many of the walls are thrown down. 

Bricks are in most general use for the walls of houses ; three 
fifths of those in the whole city .are composed of them ; the 
remaining part being mostly constructed of mud ; most of the 
Tartars in the old city are said to inhabit dwellings of the latter 

S^ne and wood are rdrely employed in erecting the walls of 
' houses : the first is frequently employed in making gate-ways and 
door-posts, and the second for colunms, beams, and rafters. Many 
of the floors in houses and temples are formed of indurated mud ; 
marble flags and tiles are likewise used for roofr ; they are kid 
in rows on the rafters, alternately concave and convex, formmg 
ridges and furrows, luted by a cement of clay. 

Windows are small and rarely supplied with glass ; pa|>er, mica, 
shell, or some other translucent substance, suppli^ its place ; very 
little iron is employed in building. 

The materials above named, for buildings, are procured here at 
moderate prices and in great, abundance. Wood, usually a species 
of the fir, is fioated down the rivers, and brought to the city in 
large rafts* Bricks are made in the neighbourhood of Canton, 
brought hither in boats, and sold at various prices, from three to 
eight shillings a thousand. These bricks are of a leaden blue or 

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of a pale brown cdo^r ; a few being red ; the yariation of teini is 
produced by the different modes of drying and burning them ; the- 
red bridus are those most thoroughly burhed ; the leaden blue 
have received only a partial action of the fire, the pale brown^ the 
son's action alone. 

Excellent stone for building is found, in ihe hilly country on the 
Borth of the proyince, and also in several of the islands, south of 
the city. Granite, and sandstone are those principally foimd and in 
gceaX variety. 

Such is ^e general style and usual material of the buildings in 
Cantmi* In passing through the city, the spectator is struck with 
the great contrast between them, though this diversity does by no 
nneans fully exhibit the relative condition and* circumstances of the 
people : a few only are rich, and the external appearance of their 
houses does not exceed, in elegance, the dwellings of the middle 
class ; many are very poor — and the aspect of their abodes aflbrds 
abundant evidence of their abject state. 

The poorest people are to be found in the extreme parts of 
the suburbs, along the banks of the canal% and in the northera 
pait of the old city ; their houses are mere mud-hovels ; low, nar- 
rov, dark, unclean, and without any division of apartments. A 
whole lamily, consisting of six, eight, ten, and sometimeji twice 
the number, ie crowded into one of these dreary abodes ; yet we 
meet with individuals, enjoying health and long life under these cir* 
cumstances. To pass through the streets or lanes of such a neigh- 
bourhood, is sufficient to reconcile a person to any ordinary con- 
dition of life. 

Neither intelligence or industry could ever be confined in such 
aaiserable cells. In habitations, a little more spacious and clean- 
ly than these, perhaps one third part of the people in Canton 
have their abodes : these stand close on die street, and have usual- 
ly but a single entrance, which ia dosed by a bamboo screen, sus« 
pended from the top of the door ; within these houses, there are 
no iwpeifluous apartments : a single room is allotted to each branch 
of the ^family, while a third, which completes the number within 
the whole enclosure^ is used by all the household as a common 

Chinese houses usually open towards the south ; but in these» 
as also in the poorer kind, this favourite position is disregarded.- 

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Dwellings of this description, are rented at four or five dollars a 
month. Another class of houses, inhabited by a more wealthy 
but less numerous part of the conununity, are the residences of 
thosp in easy circumstances, who enjoy plenty without any of the 
accompaniments of luxury ; these houses together with the plot of 
ground on which they stand are surrounded by a wall, twelve or 
fourteen feet high, that rises and fronts the street, so as com« 
pletely to conceal all the buildings from the trayeller, as he pass- 
es by. 

The prospect, in passing along the narrow streets which are 
lined with thede houses, is Tery cheerless* If allowed to enter 
some of these dwellings more pleasing scenes will be presented. 
A stranger enters the outer enclosure tbrough a large folding door 
into an open court, thence he is conducted by a servant to the 
visiters' hall ; which is usually a small apartment, furnished with 
chairs, sofas, tea-stands, &:c. ; here the host presents himself to 
introduce his guest to the younger members of the family. 

These halls are open on one side, the others being ornamented 
with carved work, or hung with various scrolls presenting in large 
and elegant characters, Uie moral maxims of their sages : or per- 
haps, exhibiting rude landscapes, or paintings of birds and flowers. 
The remaining portion of the enclosure is occupied with the do- 
mestic apartments; a garden and, pei^aps, a small school-room. 

The houses occupied by a few of the most opulent in Canton 
are by no means inferior to the imperial palaces, excepting it be in 
the space which they fill. The family residences of some among 
those merchants, who are licensed by government to trade with 
foreigners, furnish good specimens of this description of buildings. 
The seat of the late Consequa, now half in ruins, was once su* 
perb ; that of the present senior hong-merchant, is on a scale of 
great magnificence ; ^* it is a villa or rather palace, divided into suites 
of apartments, which are highly and tastefully decorated. The 
dwellings occupied by the government offices, and the numerous 
temples of the city, need not be particularized in this place ; suffice 
it to remark, that they are usually more spacious than private 
houses, and that, at present, most of them are in a very ordinary 
condition ; very few of the houses or temjdes in Canton, have 
*more than one story, the halls of which are of the whole height of 
the fabric, without any concealment of the beams or rafters of the 

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house. Terraces are often built above the roofis, and when sur- 
rounded by a breastwork, afford in the cool of the day, a very 
pleasant and secure retreat, to which the inmates can ascend, in 
order to breath^ a pure air, enjoy a wider project, or to witness 
any event that transpires in the neighbourhood.. These terraces 
we not perhaps unlike the ^af-roq/'$ of other orientals. In some 
other points diere is also a coincidence between the houses of the 
Chinese, and those which are noticed in the sacred writings. 

Professor Jahn in his Biblical Archaeology, when referring to 
die buildings described in tfie Scriptures, says : *^ The gates not 
only of houses, but of cities, were customarily adorned with an 
inscription which was to be extracted from the law of Moses ; a 
practice in which may be found the origin of the modem Mezuzaw 
or piece of parchment inscribed with sacred texts, and fastened to 
the door*posts. The gates were always shut, and one of the ser* 
▼ants acU^d the part of a porter : the space inunediately inside of the 
gate, called the pord}, is square, and on one side of it is erected a 
seat for the accommodation of those strangers who are not to be 
adnsitted- into the interior of, the hou^e. From the porch we are 
introduced through a decond door into the^court, which is commonly 
paved with marble, and surrounded on all sides. Sometimes how- 
ever only ooe'side is enclosed, with a peristyle or covered walk, 
over which, if the hou,se has more than one story, there is a gallery 
of the same dimensions, supported by cdumns and protected by 
a balustrade. 

In the church, large companies are received at nuptials and 
feasts : on such occasions, a large veil of thick cloth is extended 
by ropes over the whole court, to exclude the sun's heat. The 
l»ck part of the house, called in Arabic, the harem, and in He- 
brew, by way of eminence^ thepalacey is allotted to the females. 
Behiod the '^ harem,'' is a garden into whicJi the women can enjoy 
the pleasure of looking from their apartments. In the smaller 
bouses the females occupy the upper story ;. the place assigned 
them also, by Homer in the " Iliad'' ai^ ^ Odyssey." 

In the buildings of the Chinese, the various inscriptions are se^n 
on the dopr<-posts.: the porter at the outer gate ; the porch and 
court within ; the peristyle with ite columns and perhaps a gallery 
above ; the palace^ Kin-tee or '' forbidden ground," with its gar* 
den, bears a striking resemblance U> those of the above description 


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The inner apartments of the emperor are in like manner, by way 
of eminencie, called Kung-teen, or the " palace.'* 

The government of Cjmton now claims our notice. Here, as in 
every other place throughout the dominions of the Mantchow Chi- 
nese, all power emanates from one man» honoured as the vicege- 
rent of '^ High hekven ;" hence the present line of monarchs have 
not been satisfied with the dignity of sovereigns but have laid daim 
to the character of sages. 

The sovereign of men, say they, "is heaven's^ son; nobles and 
statesmen are the sovereign's children ; the people are the children 
of nobles and statesirien. The sovereign ehould serve heaven as a 
father, never forgetting to cherish reverential thoughts, but exciting 
himself to illustrate his virtues, and looking up to receive &om 
heaven, the vast patrimony which it confers ; thus the emperors 
will daily increase in felicity and glory. Nobles and ministers of 
state should serve their sovereign as a father, never forgetting to 
cherish reverential thoughts^ not harbouring covetous and sordid 
desires, nor engaging in wicked and clandestine thoughts, but 
faithfully and justly exerting themselves ; thus dieir ndble rank 
will be preserved. The people should never forget to dierish 
reverential thoughts towards the nobles and ministers of state, to 
obey and keep the laws; to excite no secret or open rebellion; 
then no great calamity will befall their persons.'' 

In accordance with these views, a spacious hall called Wm^ 
show'kung is dedicated to the emperor, in every province of the 
empire, the walls and appertenances of which are yellow^ which 
is the imperial colour. In Canton the Wan-sJtoW'kung stands 
near the southeast corner of the new city, within the walls. It is 
used solely for the bonotur of the emperor and his femily, and, 
annuaUy, three days prior and subsequent to the imperial birth 
days, all the civil and 'military officers of the government, together 
with the principal inhabitants of the city, assemble in it, and there 
pay him adoration. . 

The same solemnities are required on these occasions as if the 
monarch were present ; no seats are allowed iii the sacred place ; 
every one who repairs there, takes with him a cushion upon which 
he sits, cross-legged, on the ground. So much is done for absent 
. Among the principal officers^ who exercise authority in the city 

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of Canton is first, Tsung-tuh : this officer is styled Leang-kwang- 
tsung^tuh, or tlie governor of the province of Kwang-tung- and 
Kwang-se. He is clothed with high authority, and in many cases 
independent of aU the other officers within the limits of his juris- 
diction ; usually, however, he acts in concert and confers with them 
who like himself, have been sent hither from the. capital. He has 
no power to originate <w carry into execution any law or regula- 
tion, without the sanction of Uie emperor, and is required to act ac- ^ 
carding to precedents and existing statutes. In certain cases point- 
ed out by law, he can, with the concurrence of foo-yuen, inflict 
immediate death. 

New regulations are frequently pT<)posed to the emperor by the 
governor and his council ; when these have received the imperial 
sanction, (which they generally do,) they have the force of law. The 
governor is ex-officio, an honorary president of the supreme tribu- 
nal at Peking, and occasionally, a member of the imperial cabinet. 
His commands are most peremptory^ and his authority can never 
be slighted or resisted wiUi impunity. The responsibilities of his 
office are.^reat: he js accountable to the emperor ^ for the good 
management of all affairs in the two provinces ; the prosperity of 
the people and (be fruitfulness of the seasons are also items in the 
vast accoimt which he must render to his sovereign : he is re- 
quired to make a iaithiul report of every calamity which may 
cmne within the pale of his jurisdiction, whether occasioned by 
file, pestilence, earthquake, or famine, to the emperor and the su- 
preme tribunal, under penalty of bein^g dismissed from office. Any 
real or siqpposed defici^icy in his c^>acity, subjects him to the 
most severe punishment. The late governor of the province, Le, 
may be adduced to prove this fact, who, during the last year for 
the " untoward affair'' of Leen-chow, i^as deprived of all rank and 
honours,, chained, imprisoned, condemned, and sent into banish* 

In case of fire breakmg out in the provincial city, and consu- 
ming more than ten houses, the governor is fined nine months* pay ; 
if more than thirty houses are consumed, he forfeits one yeitf's 
salary, if three hundred are destroyed, he is degraded one degree. 

Fires occurring m the suburbs, do not- subject him to the same 
punishments. All the principal officers and a few of the most re- 
spectable private citizens,-frequently wait on his excellency. These 

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'* calls" are visits of business or ceremony, according to cizcnin-* 
stances; and more or less frequent, as the disposition of the parties 
may durect. On certain occasions, such as the arrival of a new 
goYernor, all the civil and military officers of both proyincesy are 
required to send to him " an accurate and conspicuous account of 
themselves, their term of service, and the condition of their re- 
spective districts." " Bnt whoever," said one of ihe. late govemorsy 
*' of the scfperior or inferior officers, or the salt or hong merchants, 
or any other persons, shall represent himself to be intimate with me 
and in my confidence, or if persons shall write to eadi other to that 
effect, or shall dliffer themselres to be thus deceived ; he or they 
shall be arrested and brought to trial ; and those who conceal such 
reports shall be Qonsidered as equally guilty with those who give 
rise to them." 

All ultimate appeals in the two provinces, are made to the 
governor. At the gate of his palace are placed six tablets, in which 
are written appropriate inscriptions for those who wish to appeal to 
his authority; the Jirst is for those who have been wronged by 
covetous, corrupt, or sordid officers : the second^ for those who have 
suffered by thieves or robbers ; the third for such as have been 
falsely accused; tbefaurthy for those who have been injured by 
swindlers and gamesters ; the ^fh fot such as have suffered by 
wicked persons of any description, and the sixth is for those who 
wish to give infonnation concerning any secret schemes or machin* 

On the third and ^A£k, .the tkirteerUh and eighteenth^ the 
twenty^hird end twenty-eighth 6sLy^ of each mostfa, the people are 
allowed to take these tablets in their hands, and to enter one of the 
outer apartments of the palace, where they may, in person, pre* 
sent their oomplaints to his excellency. This mode of proceeding 
is however seldom adopted : to send or carry up a petition to his 
gate, is the most conmion method of seeking redress from the hands 
of the governors. When all these means fail, an aj^al may be 
made to Peking. 

The mode- of appeal by entering the gate of the magistrate, is 
allowed also at the offices of foo-yuen, and an-cha-sze. 

The governor's house stands in the new city, near the yew-Ian 
gate ; it is spacious and bebngs to the government. ^ The sala^^y 
of this officer is fifteen thousand taels^ annually. It is. generally 

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belieredthat his extra emoluments during the same' period, amount 
to more than twelve times that sum ^ although presents of every 
kind, to officers of government, are disaljowed. 

Loo-kwan, the present governor, is an aged man, and a native of 
one of the northern provinces. He seems to belong to that class of 
persoiis who are fond of ease aod pleasure, vetj ambitious — but 
desirous that all under their authority should know their places and 
perform their respective duties. He has a large number of per- 
sons employed about him, as advisers, secretaries, servants, dec. 
A small number of troops, who serve as a body-guard, are also 
attached to hiqi, and at the same time, constitute a part of the city- 
police. '7 . 

Too-yuen, the second officer, who is also called seun-foo, is 
usually styled, by foreigners, " lieutenant-governor." His jurisdic- 
tion is confined to this province, in which he is second in author- 
ity. The title of Choo^ the present foo-yuen, as it Appears in the 
government papers, runs thus : ^' An attendant officer of the mili- 
tary board ; a member of the coait of universal examiners ; an 
imperial censor; patrolling soother of Cantcm; a guide of mili- 
tary affairs and a ccmtroller of tales. 

Division of pdwer, when it i9 to bo intrusted to those who have 
been selected from the people, is the policy of the Mantchow fami- 
ly. -The foo«yuen, though seccxidtb the governor, is not under his 
control ; and in certain cases, acts independently of him. ' 

They often confer together, and in batters in which they can- 
notagree, refer for a decision to Peking. The foo-yuen holds the 
vsang^ming^ '* king's order,^ or death warrant, by virtue of which 
criminals, in cases of gseat emergency, can be put to the"^ sword 
without a reference to the emperor. - His residence is in the old 
city, in a palace buik in the reign of Shwn-chOt by one of the 
Tartiff generals, who was sent hither to 'Opacify" die rebellious 
subjects of the Souths Choo is a native of Keeang-socr and a 
thorough-bred son of Han— ^tem, resdute, and even obstinate*- 
rather careless about emolument, a comtemner of bribes — a terror 
to bandits, a hater of ^* divine vagabonds"^-Hrespected by few, and 
feared by all. In his person, he is tall and well formed ; his looks 
show that he has '' gone hither and thither," discharging the func- 
tions of public life, without toil and anxiety. His origin is very 
humble and he has grown old in ^e service of his country. He 

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has one son who is a source of grief to his parent ; like the goTemor» 
he has a small body of soldiers under his command^ buit the hum* 
ber of persons kept in his immediate employ, is small. In his 
habits of living-^we have his own word for .it — ^the patrolling 
soother of Cantcm is both simple and an example to the people^ 

Tseang-keun, the third officer, usually denominated the Tartar 
general, is comms^nder of the Tartar troops in Canton,. and is an- 
swerable for the defence of the city. In most cases he acts in- 
dependently of the tsung-tuh and foo-yuen. The soldiers under 
his immediate command, except a small detachment stationed on 
the river, are quartered in the old city, where the general keeps 
his court and camp. He is always, we believe, a mantchow and 
not unfreiquently a member of the imperial family. 

Subordinate to the tseang-keun, there are two foo-too-tungs or 
lieutenant-generals, and a. great number of inferior officers, who 
rank as majors, captains, lieutenants, &c. His house, which was 
built by Tsing-nan-wang, is said to exhibit some of the finest 
specimens of architecture that can be found in the provincial city. 

Hae-kwan-keen-tuh, the fourth officer, is known to f(»eigner8 
and often addressed by them as, ^ tlie grand hoppo of the port of 
Canton.'^ He is generally a member td jtbe imperial household, 
and receives his appointment direct from the emperor. His 
jurisdiction (he being commissioner of Customs) is limited to ^ 
maritime commerce of Canton. We jihatl have occasion, subse- 
quently, to Bpeak of this department, when the commerce nf the 
city is referred to. 

Heo-yuen, the fifth officer, holds the highest Uterary aj^Ksint- 
ment in the province ; he is usually spoken of^ as ** the literary 
chancellor of Canton.'^ His office is one of great influence and 
respectability, inasmuch as literary rank, of which he is judge 
and dispenser, is necessary for preferment to all civil offices in 
the state. He has a general supervision of all public schools, 
colleges, and literary examinations, within the province. On some 
occasions his authority extends to the military department. 

The sixth officerr Poo-chiug-sze; Is the controller of the revenue 
of the province ; under the foo-yuen, he directs the appointment 
and removal of aU the subordinate officers of the local government 
The principal officers under him, are the king-leih or secretary, 
and a koo-ta-sze or keeper of the treasury. 

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Gan-dia-Bse or an-cha-aa&e, the seventh officer, is criminal judge 
of the province ; all the criminal cases which occur within its lim- 
itSy are brought before him for trial. Sometimes he sits in judg- 
mait alone; but ill cases involiring the life of the accused, he is 
usually assisted >y other ctiief officers of the province. A degree 
of civil power,. at times, appertains to him in conjunction with the 
poo-cbing-sze. The government posts are under his control ; — 
among other officers attached to this department, there is a sze-yo 
who has the general management of the provincial prisoners ; his 
rank and his duties are similar to those of the keeper of a state- 

Yen^yunrsze, the eighth office, has the. superintendence ol the 
state department : there are, under him, a yun-tung who attends to 
the transportation of salt from ojae place to another, and several 
other minor officers. 

The salt-trade is a government monopoly, the duties upon which 
form an important branch of the imperiaj revenue. This trade 
is limited to a small number of licensed merchants, who are gene-' 
nlly very rich, and are often ealled upon to make liberal grants 
towards the support of the provincial government. 

The ninth officer, Tuh-leang4aou, has the control of all the' 
puUic granaries in the province ; thw superintendents are i^bject to 
las direction and inspection. Canton and the suburbs contain four- 
teen public granaries; these are required to be kept filled in order 
to furnish supplies for the people, in times of scarcity. 

KwangH^how-foo-chee-foo, or a magistrate of the department of 
Kwang-chow-foo, is the tenth officer in Canton'; his title is often 
abridged, sometimes to Kwang«chow, at others, to Che^foo : Kwangu 
chow is simply the name of the foo. . Chee-foo means, literally, 
^ known of the department (or foo)," and denotes that it is the office 
or duty of this magistrate to be fully apquunted with the portion 
of territory over which he is placed. Either term is sufficient to 
denote, pretty nearly^ what is Uie authority of an officer placed at 
the head of all the affiurs of such a division of the province. 
There are numerous civil officer^ placed in various parts of the 
department, idl of whom are under his inamediate inspection. He 
has also under his authority a sze*yo,~whpse duties, as superin- 
tendent of the |>riaoners of the department, are similar to those 
of chief jailer in a coun^-prison. 

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The eleventh principal officer -in the prorince is Nan-hae-heen 
che-heen ; this' officer is subordinate to the ch6-foo, and is to the dis-* 
trict of Nan-rhae what the che-foo is to the department of Kwang- 
chow. As ehe-heen^ he is required to know all the affairs of the 
di^ict. The department of Kwang-chcJW is divided into fourteen 
heens or districts^ of which Naii-hae and Pwan-yu are two of the 
principal, and include the city of Canton. 

The last officer whom we shall particularize, is Pwan-yu-he«i- 
che-heen; the rank and duties of this magistrate are the same in 
the district of Pwan-yu as are the last-named officers in the dis- 
trict of Nan-hae : their titles, like that of the che-foo, are common* 
ly abridged; thus, when speaking of the Nan-hae magistrate, the 
people say, Nan-hae-heen ; and when it is not necessary to mention 
the district, they sixnply say che^heen, designating by each of their 
phrases, the magistrate of the district of Nan-hae. ' 

We have named and characterised as far as our limits \i^ill admit, 
and the nature of the subject requires, the principal officers who 
exercise authority in Canton ; the reader will doubtless find it dif- 
ficult, as we have done, to determine the exact limitation of their 
respective sphere&f which, like the courses of the planets, often 
seciivto intersect each others At first sight of so many bodies, all 
in motion within limits so narrow, we feel suiprised that they do 
Ho]t come into collision, destroy «aeh other and carry destruction 
through the empire. On a close inspection, however, we are able 
to discover some of the secret laws which govern this complicated 
system, preserve it in being, and keep it in motion. Two influ- 
ences, the one miiitstry, and the other literary, are perhaps the 
principal forces which regulate and control the measures of the 
Chinese government. Religion, which often ha^ a gigantic power 
over governments, is here blended with civil and state ceremonies, 
ahd exerts but a feeble, and usually a most baneful influence on 
the political dei^tinies of the nation. 

All the officers enumerated in the foregoing list, excepting the 
two che-heens, the che-foo, and the tseang-keun> are general offi- 
cers—their jurisdiction extending to all other parts of the province, 
as weU as over the metropolis. There are likewise two other 
officers, commanders-in-chief of the land and naval forces, who, 
like the other members of the provincial g€(vemment, act alone ih 
certain cases, and sometimes in concert with the other general of* 

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m^ BiTiaioK or^owSB.. 106 

ficen. The goTenunent ia despotic as well as milkary ; and so 
conslnictedi that those who fonn the pipvincial govennnent, shall, 
while they enjoy a degree of iiKlependence, senre as mutual checks ; 
while at the same time, each superior officer is held responsible 
for those who are subordinate^ and accountable for himself. Even 
in the location of these officers, there has been a cautious refer- 
ence to " division and balance of power." For example : the tsung- 
tuh is stationed in the new city, almost within a stone's*tbrow of 
his majesty's most faithful *^ slave," the hoppo ; the foo-yuen and 
the tsang-kuen are placed in similar positions in reference to each 
other : these two last are so located in the old city, that, should 
circumstances require, they could act against the two first, in the 
aew city. The same principle is observable likewise, if we mis- 
take not, in the. disposition wliich is made of the troops. The 
whole land and naval force throughout th^ province, has been esti- 
mated (nominally) at about one hundred thousand men; all of 
whom are with fixed limitations, under the control of the governor ; 
be has, however, the immediate and sole command of only five 
thousand, and these are., stationed at a distance from the city. 
On all ordinary occasions, except when ho goes to a distance 
from Canton, he is escorted by a detachment from the kwang- 
chow-hee, (the chief military officer of Kwang-chow,) which, in the 
absence of his ovm troops, serves him for a body-guard, and con* 
stitutes, at the same time, a part of the police of the city. The 
foo-yuen has only two thousand at his. command ; while the- tseang- 
keun has five thousand, which, in an extreme case, would enable 
him to become master of the city. The proper seat of the gov- 
enxv is at Shaou^king-foo, several miles west of this city ; but on 
account of the superior .advantages of Canton, he is allowed to 
reside here; he cannot, however, bring his troops hither, lest, 
in conjuncticm with the foo-ynen, they should prove more than a 
match for the Tartar generatcoounandant and his five thousand 
fighting men. It riiould be remarked here, that no individual can 
bold an office in any provmce, department, or district of the empire, 
that includes the pbce of bis nativity, or that extends within sev* 
eral hundred Zs of it. 

The whole number of soldiera, ordinarily quartered in the city, 
does not probably exceed seven thousand. There are in the im- 
mediate vicinit? of Canton, a few small fort% and the city itself is 


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'106 BMBA88T TO THE SAl^T. [OeMv, 

intended to be a stronghold; but neither is in such a state that 
they wouM serre any very valuable purposes of defence. ^ Even 
the late rain-storm carried away one of the gates of the city, and 
opened a wide breach in the walls. Most of the forts are disman- 
tled and defenceless, and present nothing more formidable than the 
frightful paintings of tiger's heads, on the wooden hds which block 
up their port-holes. The two follies^ Dutch and French follies 
as they are called, are situated in the rirer opposite to the city, and 
are fair specimens of the forts about Canton ; there are likewise 
for the defence of the city, what have been called cavalry, and ar- 
tillery ; but of these, we have heard little, and seen nothing. Of the 
Tartar troops, there are two hundred chosen men, who on state 
occasions, appear well clad and warlike ; but, generally, the soldiers 
are badly equipped, and poorly disciplined. , All their armour and 
accoutrements, consisting of shields and helmets, bows and arrows, 
spears and javelins, sbort-swords and matlocksj seem ill fitted 
either for defence or attack ; the l>eavy losses sustained by the 
troops of Canton, during the late hi^land war at Seen-chow, fully 
confirm these remarks ; as do also recent imperial edicts, in which 
the soldiery are accused of idleness and lazy habits, and of '^ in- 
dulging in all the softness of civilians ;^ the police of the city is on 
the whole, vigfilant and efficient. Besides those who act in the capa- 
city of constables, thief-takers, &c., eonstitutmg thejregular police, 
there are maiiiy neighbourhoods, as well as private individuals,, 
which make arno^gements for a constant nocturnal watch during 
the night; almost all the streets of the city are shut up by strong 
gates at each end; near one of which there is usually a guard- 
house. The night-watches are distinguished by belb, or scnne 
similar instruments kept by the watchmen, in the winter months, 
when there is great danger from fire, as well as thieves. Watch* 
towers are built on. bamboo poles, high above the roofii of the 
houses ; thus constituting a double watch. When thieves are dis- 
covered, or when a fire breaks out in any part of the city, the 
alarm by means of the watchmen, spreads quickly firom one ex- 
tremity of the city to the other. When riotous assemblies collect 
in the streets, they are, in most cases, speedily dissolved by a 
vigorous application of the bamboo or whip; many, doubtless, 
^' shove by justice," and to. the day of their death go unpunished ; 
yet the number who axe arrested and brought to trial, annually, is 


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Wm JU8TICS — JAILS. 107 

Teiy great ; justice is often administered in the most summary 
manner ; not unfirequently, in minor cases, the ma» receives the 
punishment, and again goes free, the same hour in which he com- 
mits the crime. 

The forms of trial are simple : there is no jury, teo pleading ; the 
criminal kneels before the magistrate, who hears the witnesses and 
passes sentence; he is then remanded to prison, , or sent to the 
place of execution. Seldom is he acquitted ; when witnesses are 
wanting, he is sometimes tortured until he gives evidence against 
himself. ^ 

There are four jails in Canton ; which together contain several 
hundred prisoners ; the jail is called te-yo, Ae//, or literally " earth's 
prison." All capital offenders suffer just without the southern gates, 
near the river; hundreds die there annually. When brought to the 
&tal spot» they kiieel with their faces towards the emperor's court,. 
and bendingtforward in the attitude of submission and thanksgiving, 
Boddenly expire beneath the bloody sword of the executioner. 

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The Literary Institutions of China, are the pillars that give 
stability to the goyenunent.' Her military forces are utterly in- 
adequatis to hold together the numerous and extensive provinces 
and territories, that constitute the wide dominions of the reigning 
dynasty. With great difficulty the Tartar troops overrun the 
country ; conquering province after province, and gradually extend- 
ing-their authority over the territories on the west of China Proper. 
But for a long period both the discipline and the energies of the 
Chinese soldiery have been on the wane : and at this moment the 
imperial hosts present nothing formidable but their numerical 
amount ; the' recent insurrections at Leen-chow and Formosa, have 
afforded the most complete evidence of this imbecility. Not only 
in this part of the empire, but along the i^hole coast up to the 
great wall on the north, and even beyond that ia M antchou Tartary, 
both the land aod naval farces have become so exceedingly ener- 
Tated and dissolute, that they exercise no salutary influence or 
control, except over a few, who are equally debased with them- 
aehres. As police-men, in the capacity of lictors, thief-takers, and 
executioners, diey are not less detested than feared by the common 
peojjfde ; they are in fact, for all purposes of defence, little better 
than dead tuen ; wey^ they stricken from the catalogue of the liv- 
ing, we can scarcely doubt that the stability of the empire would 
remain unimpaired. 

There are many who look vrith astonishment at the magnitude 
of this empire, and believe it strong and immoveable as the ever> 
lasting hflis. But an examination of its history and present organ- 
ization, would show them that it has been frequently rent and 
broken by rebel chieftains, ambitious statesmen, and haughty 

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110 BMBA8 8T TO THB BAST. lOctcfetTp 

kings; and that its present greatness is chiefly attributable to its 
peculiar literary institutions. These, though they are the glory 
and strength of the nation, are, except for mere purposes of govern* 
menty amazingly deficient ; and it is their relative rather than in- 
trinsic value, that renders them worthy of special notice. Wealth 
and patronage have great influence here ; they often control the 
acts of government, stay the course of justice, cover the guilty, 
and confer honours and emoluments on the undeserving. But as a 
general rule, learning, while it is an indispensable prerequisite for 
all those who aspire to places of trust and authority in- the state, 
is sure to command respQct, influence, and distinction. 

. Thus, without, the dreadful alternative of overthrowing the 
powers that be, a way is opened to ambitious youth, by which he 
may reach the highest .station in the empire ; the throne only ex- 
cepted. Usually the most distinguished statesmen are thoee who 
have risen to eminence by intellectual efforts : they ar^ at once the 
philosophers, the teachers, aiKi rulers gf the land. These distine* 
tions they cannot howeyer maintain, without yielding implicit obe- 
dience to the will of the monarch, which is jnost absolute azkd un- 
controlled. Let them honour and obey the power that^is^ over 
them, and they stand ; dependant indeed on the one hand, butoa 
the other, in proud and envied distinction. . . v 

High rank in the state is the brightest glory to which this peo- 
ple aspire ; with them^ learning derives its chief ^ue from the 
simple fact, that it brings them, within the reach of that dazzling 
prize. Strict examinations, regulated by a fixed code of laws, have 
been instituted and designed solely to elicit firooi the body of the 
community the " true talent^ of the people, with the ulterior in* 
tention of applying it to purposes of government. At these ex- 
aminations, which are open to all except menial servants, lictors, 
players, and priests, it is determined who shall rise to distinctioB 
and shed glory on their ancestors and posterity— who shall live <m 
in obscurity and die and be forgotten. The competitors of the 
Olytnpic games never entered the arcina before the assembled 
thousands of their countiymen, with deeper emotion than that 
which agitates the bosoms of those who contest the palm of these 
literary combats. The days on which they are held, and* 
suits published in CantoUj are the proudest which its inhabitanls 
ever witnessed. A brief notice of them may be intei^ssting to the 

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reader, and at the same time enable him to understand more fully 
the nature and object of the schools and colleges of the provincial 

The highest literary eraminations in the empire are triennial, 
and take place at Peking. Besides these, there are also occasional 
examinations granted by special farour of the emperor. Up to 
these contests j the most distinguished scholars- go, from all -the 
proYinceB. This privilege is not gained Tvithout long, patient, and 
successful endeavour ; the examinations! at which it is determined 
who shall enjoy it, occur also triennially and are held in the metrop- 
olis of each province. These examinations are of incomparable 
interest to great multitudes of the people, in every department and 
district of the empire. High honours, rich emoluments, and in a 
word, every thing that the young aspirant and Ws numerous kin- 
dred most esteem, are at stake ; a long season of preparation has 
been endured, heavy expenses incurred; and^ now the decisive 
hour approaches. 

Two examiners are chosen from distinguished officers at^^eking, 
under the immediate superiiitendance of the emperor ; within five 
days after they are chosen, they must leave the capital. They are 
allowed the use of the post-horses belonging to government. Upon 
those who come to Canton six hundred taels are Conferred, to de- 
j&ay their expen^ies while on' the road ; two hundred of which are 
paid when they commence their journey fi-om Peking, and the re- 
mainder by the governor of the province, when they are about to 
return after the examination is completed. 

The above examiners are assisted by ten others, who are select- 
ed from the local officers over whom die foo-yuen presides. Be- 
sides these there are many inferior officers, who are employed as 
inspectors, guards, &c. All these, together with the candidates^ 
their attendants, &d., amounting to ten thousand and upward, as- 
semble at the Kung-yuen, a large and spacious building designed 
solely for these occasions. It contains numerous apiartments, so 
that each candidate may be seated separately from his competitors. 
All the seats are numbered.' The apartments are low and narrow^ 
have only a single entrance, and no furniture except a chair and a 
narrow writing-desk. 

The number of candidates who assemble in Canton is between 
seven and eight thousand. They are often attended by their fnaids^ 

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and continue here for several weeks, and sometimes for moqths ; 
during which time the hum and bustle of the city are greatly in- 
creased, and every kind of mercantile business receives a new im- 
pulse. .These candidates are always persons of sdme distinction, 
which they must have gained, .either at previous examinations or 
by the payment of large sums of money. . They are all called sew^ 
Uae^ a title not unlike that of master of arts ; they are divided into 
several classes ; those who have purchased their degree are. often 
despised by the others^ and are generally regarded with less respect 
than those who have gained it by their own merits. Ttiey meet 
on equal terms, and. their *^true nobility" is to be determined by 
personal efforts, which are to be made durii>g,a fixed period and 
under fixed circumstances. The candidates assemble on the eighth 
moon ; but none are allowed to enter the examination except those 
who have been previously enrolled by the literary chancellc»r of 
the province. The age, features, place of residence, and lineage, 
of each candidate must be given in the chancellor's list, and a copy 
of it lodged in the office of the '^ foo-yuen." They must all attend 
at the examinations in their native province ; and those who giv« 
in a false account of their family and liheage, or plac& of nativity, 
are expelled and degraded ; for no candidate can be admitted at 
any place without proving that his family has been resident there 
for three generations. 

The exunination continues for several days, and each student must 
undergo a series of trials. The -first is on the ninth of the moon, the 
second on the twenty-second, and the third on the fifteenth. The 
candidates ale required to enter their apartments, on the day pre* 
ceding the examination, and are not allowed to leave them yntil 
the day after it has closed. Thus they must pass two nights in 
ttose and solitary confinement. On die first day of their examina* 
tion, eAre6 .themes, which are selected from the '' Four books^^ are 
proposed to them, and they are required to give the meaning and 
scope of each, to ^which a fourth is added, on which they most 
compose a short poem in rhyme. On the second day, a theme is 
given them from each of the '^ Five classics;^ and on the third day, 
five questions, which shall refer UX the history Or political econo- 
my of the country. The themes must be sententious, and have a 
meaning which is refined and profound. They must not be such 
OS have ofte« been discussed. Those which are given out for 

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poetry, must be grave and important. In the themes for essays 
on political economy, the chief topics must be concerning things 
of real importance, the principles of which are dear and evidendy 
of a correct nature. '^ There is no occasion to search and inquire 
into derious and unimportant subjects.*' All questions concerning 
the character and learning of statesmen of the present dynasty, as 
well as aH topics which relate to its policy, must be carefully- 
avoided. The paper on which the themes and essays are written 
is prepared with great care ; and must be inspected at the office of 
the poo-ching-sze. It is firm and thick, and the only kind that 
mej be used. The price of it is fixed by authority. The number 
of characters, both in the themes and essays, is limited. The lines 
most be straight, and all the characters full and fair. At the close 
of every paper, ccnHaining elegant composition, versus, or knMwern 
to questions,. it inost be stated by the students how many chanu> 
ters have been blotted out or altered; if the number exceed one 
hundred, the writer is tsee-chufa, '^pasted out;" which means, that 
his name is pasted up at the gate of the hall, as having violated the 
rtdes of the examination, and he is forthwith excluded firom that 
yearns examination. 

There are usually a hundred or more persons at every examina* 
tion in Canton subject to this punishment, for breaking this, or 
some other of the regulations. The candidates are not allowed 
''to get drunk" and ''behave disord^iiy" during the examination. 
All intercourse of civility between the examiners and the relationa 
of the students must be discontinued ; and there must be no inter- 
change of letters, food, Sec. On entering the outer gate of the 
kang-yuen, each eandidate must write his name in- a register, kept 
for that purpose ; if it is afterward discovered .that the name was 
erroneously written, then the offieer superintending the register^ 
if it be found that he is ah accomplice in registering a spurious 
essay,8hall, with the candidate for literaiy honouia who has violated 
the law, be tried and puniidied. Moreover, the student, on entering 
the-faall of examination, nmst be searebed ; and if it be discovered 
that he has with him any precomposed essay, or miniature copy of 
the classics, he shall be punished by wearing a wooden collar, de- 
graded from the rank of sew-tsae, and for ever incapacitated to 
stand as a candidate fer literary honours ; and the father and tutor 
of the delinquent shall both be prosecuted and punished. All the 


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114 BMBASSr TO THS EA.ST. (Oettbov 

furniture and utensils, such as the writing-desks, inkstands, &c., in 
the apartments where the students write their essays, must be 
searched; and also, each and all of the managers, copyists, attend- 
ant officers, servants, porters, &c. If, in any manner, a learned 
person, who is to decide on the papers, be admitted to the apiut- 
ments of the students, dressed as a servant, he shall be punished; 
and the chief examiner deUyered oyer to a court of inquiry. A 
watch, composed of miUtary officers and soldiers, is maintained day 
and night, both in the inner and outer courts of the hall ; and if 
any of these men are guilty of conyeying papers tb the candidates, 
concealed with their food, or in any other way, they shall be pan* 

There are many other regulations and precautions, which Iui:y« 
been adopted to preyent fraud, but a sufficient number haye been 
stated to show somewhat of the interest which gathers around these 
examinations, and the schemes which are formed to gain distinc- 
tion, without the toil and fatigue of hard study. Of the thousands 
of candidates assembled at these examinations in Canton, only 
seyenty-one can obtain the degree of Kew-jing ; the names of the 
successful essayists are published by a proclamation, which 
is issued on or before the tenth of the ninth moon, and within 
twenty-fiye days subsequent to the closing of the examinatioii. 
This time is allowed to the examiners to read the essays, and pi^ 
pare their report The proclamation, which contains the name of 
the successful candidates, after it has received its appropriate sig- 
natures, is pasted up at the office of the foo-yuen. 

At. a giyen hour three guns are fired ; and the foo-yuen at die 
same time Comes forth from his palace, accompanying the official 
paper; it is forthwith pasted up, and again a sadute of three guns 
is fired; his excellency then adyances, lind bows three times 
towards the names of Uie ''promoted men," (hin-jirX and &idly 
retires under another salute of three guns. Ten tfiousand minds 
are now reUeyed from their long suspense* Swift messengers are 
despatched by those who have won the prize, to announce to their 
fidends the happy result of the long trial which they haye onder- 
gone ; while the many return yrith disappointment to their homes, 
the successful /eti^ are loaded with encomiums and congratula^ 
tions, and their names with their essays sent up to the emperor. 
To crown the whole, a banquet is prepared for these newly*pn>« 

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moted men, of which the examiners and all the ciyil officers of rank 
in the province partake. Gold and silver cups for the occasion 
must be provided by the provincial treasurer. The chief exandiner, 
from Peking, presides ; the foo-yuen, at whose palace the banquet 
is given, and who is present as visiter, is seated on the right, and 
the assistant-examiner on his left. The governor of the province 
is also present, a train of inferior officers wait as servants, and 
two lads» dressed like naiadsj holding in their hands branches of 
olive, grace the scene with a song from their ancient classics. 

There are three other examinations in Canton, which occur 
twice in three years, and are attended by great numbers of aspi« 
rants. At the first, which is attended by the students of Nan«hae 
wad Pwanyu, the che-heens preside ; at the second, which is 
attended by candidates from all the districts of Kwang-chow-foo, 
the che-foo presides ; but the third is conducted by the literary 
chaiicellor ef the province, whose prerogative it is to confer the 
degree of sew-tsae up<Hi a limited number of the most distinguished 

These are prepaiatovy to the triennial examination, and inferior 
to it in interest ; they need not, therefore, be further particularixed. 
It may be reauuiLed» however, that they are open to persons of all 
i^ges ; and a case very recently occurred Ivhere a hoary head of 
eighty, accompanied by a won and grandson, attended the examina* 
lion; all of them were candidates for the same literary honours. 
To qualify the young for these examinations, and thereby prepare 
them for rank and office in the statCi is a leading object of the 
higher schools and colleges among the Chinese. But a great 
niajority of the schools in Canton are designed only to prepare 
youth for the common duties of private life. These latter, as well 
as many of the higher schools, are private establishments. And 
though there are teachers appointed by government, in all the 
districts of the empire, yet there are no public or charity-schools 
for the benefit of the great mass of the community. Whatever 
■Mty be his object and final distinction, almost every scholar in 
Canton commences his course at some one of the private schools. 
These, among the numerous inhabitants of this city, assume a 

Cat variety of form and character, according to the peculiar fan* 
of individuals. The opulent, who are desirous of pushing 
forward their sons rapidly, provide for them able teachers, who 

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116 XM*BA88T TO THB XA8T. tOadb$e, 

i^all dejote the whole time to the instruction of two, three, or 
four pupils. . A school of this description we have repeatedly 
visited ; it is in a hall belonging to merchants from Ning-po, and 
is kept by an old man, who has three lads under his care ; one five, 
another seven, and a third nine years old : he instructs them in the 
learned dialects, and the youngest has already made greater pro- 
ficiency than is usually accomplished by boys at the age of ten. 
Sometimes the inhabitants of a single street, or a few families who . 
are related to each other, unite, have a teacher, and fit up a school- 
TOOVOf each defraying a stipulated part of the expenses. At other 
times, the teacher publishes the rules and terms on whidi he wiU 
conduct bis school, and seeks for scholars Wherever he can find 
them. Children are not generally sent to school until they are 
seven or eight years old ; they enter, usually, for a whole year, 
and must pay for that term whether they attend regularly or not 
The wages of the teachers vary greatly: in some instances (and 
they are not unfrequent in the country) the lads pay only two 
or three dollars, but generally fifteen or twenty per annum. Wheii 
die teacher devotes his whole time to two or three pupHs, he often 
receives a hundred dollars ^6m each. 

The ordinary school-room, with aU its defects, presents an in- 
teresting scene. At the head of it there is a tablet, on which 
the name of the sage — ^* the teacher and pattern^ far myriads of 
age^-^is written in large capital letters ; a small altar is placed 
before it, upon which incense and candles are kept constantly 
burning. Every morning, when the scholar enters the room, he 
bows fifst before the tablet, and then to his teacher ; the former is 
not merely a tribute of respect, but an act of worship, which he 
is tliught, nay, compelled, to^pay to Confucius. The boys usually 
continue in school firom six o'clock in the' morning tintil six in the 
evening, except'two or three hours, which they are allowed for their 
meals. When in school, they all study aloud, each raising his 
voice at the same time, and striving to outdo his fellows, the noise 
of which is very great* Upon thrtse who are idle or disobedient, 
the teacher plies the rattan, with woful severity. Every lesson 
must be committed perfectly to memory, and the lad who fails in 
this, is obliged to bow down, and learn it upon his knees ; tho^i^ 
who are the most incorrigible are made to kneel on gravel, small 
stones, or something of the kind, in order to enhance their punish- 

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ment. The Sao-^tse-kingy the fampus *^ three-character classics * 
is the first book which is put into the hands of the learner. Though 
written expressly for infant minds, it is scarcely better fitted for 
them than the propositions of Euclid would be, were they thrown 
into rhyme« But, " it is not to be understood" at first ; and the 
tyroy when he can rehearse it firom beginning to end, takes up the 
Four books, and masters them ui the samd manner. Thus far the 
yoong learners go, without understanding au^t, or but little, of 
what they recite ; and here those who are not destined to a hterary 
course, after haying learned to write a few characters, must close 
their education. The others now commence the commentary on the 
Four books, and ccnnmit it to memory in the same way ; md then 
pass on to the other classics. The study of arithmetic, geography, 
history, &c;f forms no part of a '' common-school" education. 

The high schools and colleges are numerous, but none of them 
are richly endowed, or well fitted for the purposes of education. 
The high schools, which are fourteen in number, are somewhat 
similar to the prirate grammar-schools in England and America ; 
with this difference, that the former are nearly destitute of pupils. 
There are thirty colleges ; most of which were founded many 
centuries since. Sereral of them are now deserted, and falling to 
ruins. Three of the largest have about two hundred students 
each, and, Uke all the others, only one or two professors. We have 
sought long and diligently, but thus far in yain, for some definite 
informatioii concerning the existing discipline and regulations of 
these colleges ; should we afiirm that they are without rules and 
order, we should say what we do not doubt, but cannot prove. 
AU those systems of instruction which have sprung up in modern 
times, and are now accompUshing so much for the nations of tlie 
West, are here entirely unknown. There are a few books in the 
Chinese language which contain excellent maxims on the subject 
€f education, give numerous rules to facilitate the acquisition of 
knowledge, and detail systems of gymnastic exercises for the pres- 
ervation of health. 

Of the whole population of Canton, not more than one half are 
able to read. Perhaps not one boy out of ten is left entirely des- 

«te of instruction, yet, of the other sex, not one in ten ever 
■ns to read or vnrite. There is scarcely a school for girls in the 
whole city. Public sentiment — immemorial usage — and many 

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passages in the classics, are against femak education ;. the conse* 
qiience- is, that females are left uninstructed, and sink far below that 
point in the scale of being, for which they are fitted, and which they 
ought ever to hold. The degradation into which the fairest half 
of the human species is here thrown, affords cause for loud com- 
plaint against the wisdom and philosophy of (he sages and legisla- 
tors of the celestial empire. We do not knowingly detract from 
the merits of the Chinese ; in comparison with other Asiatics, they 
are a learned and polished race. Those who have been educated 
«re generally remarkably fond of books : and though there are 
DO public libraries in Canton, yet the establishments for manu- 
facturing and vending books are numerous. To supply those who 
are unable to purchase for themselves the works they need, a 
great number of circulating libraries are kept constantly in motion. 

While the purest moral maxims are found mixed up at times, in 
the Chinese language, as in ours, with gross licentiousness, the 
charge does not lie against works comprising die libiary of the 
youthful students, which^ in this particular, is wholly unexcep- 

The situation of Canton and the policy of the Chinese gov- 
ernment, together with various other causes, have mkde it the 
scene of a very extensive domestic and foreign commerce. With 
the exception of the Russian caravans which traverse the northern 
frontiers of China, and tlie Portaguese and Spanish ships which 
visit Macao, the whote trade between the Chinese empire and the 
nations of the West centres at this place. Here the productions 
of every part of China are found, and a very brisk and lucrative 
commerce is carried on by merchants and factors from all the 
provinces. Merchandise is brought here from Tonquin, (T^mg* 
king) Cochin-China, Camboja, Siam, Malaca, or the Malay penin- 
sula, the eastern Archipelago, the ports of India, the nations of 
Europe, the different states of North and South America, and the 
islands of the Pacific. We shall briefly notice the several branches 
of this extensive commerce, enumerate some of the principal com- 
modities which are brought to this city, as wdl as those which are 
carried from it, and add such remarks concerning the situation and 
circumstances of the trade, and those who conduct it, as seem 
necessary to exhibit its full magnitude and. importance. W 

Concerning the domestic commerce, we can do little more than 

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]g»1 D0KB8TIC COMMBRCS, 119 

nentioA the articles which are here bought and scld for the seTerel 
provinces; each of which we shall notice separately, that we may, 
by taking a 'view oi their position and number of inhabitants at the 
same time, see to what advantage the present trade is conducted, 
and the probal»lity of its future increase or diminution. The 
maritime provinces claim priority of notice, after which, those on 
the northern, western, and southern frontiers vidll pass under review^ 
and finally, those in the centre of China proper. The colonial 
trade is, in the present view, omitted. 

From Fuh-keen^ come the black teas, camphor, sugar, indigo, to- 
bacco, paper, lacquered ware, excellent grass-cloth, and a few 
mineral {voductions* Woollen and cotton cloths of yariotTs kinds, 
wines, watches, &c., are sent to that province ; which, with iu 
population of fourteen millions, might, in different circumstances, 
receive a far greater amount of foreign manufactiures and produc- 
tions in exchange for its own. The trade of the province is carri- 
ed on under great disadvantages. It has been shown by an accu- 
rate and detailed comparison between the expense of conveying 
black teas from the country where they are produced, to Can- 
ton, and of their conveyance from thence to the port of Fuh-chow 
in Full-keen, that the privilege of admission to the latter port 
would be attended with a saving to the East India Company of 
£150,000 annually, in the purchase of black teas alone. 

Che^keang sends to Canton the best of silks and paper ; also, 
fims, pencils, wines, dates, *' golden-flowered^ bams, and ^* lung' 
tsingcha^ — an excellent and very costly tea. This province has 
a population of twenty-six millions, and makes large demands for 
foreign imparts ; these, however, by way of Canton, go to that 
province at no small expense to the consumer. 

Keang'tiarij which is now divided into the two provinces of Ke- 
ang^soo and Gan-hwuy, with a population of seventy^two millions, 
has the resources as well as the wants of a kingdom. Notwith- 
standing its distance from Canton, large quantities of produce are 
annually sent hither, and exchanged for the productions and 
manufactures of the western world. Green teas and silks are the 
principal articles of traffic, which are brought to Canton ; and they 
usually yield the merchant a great profit. 

From Shan-tung^ fruits, vegetables, drugs, wines, and skins, are 
brought down the coast to Canton ; and coarse fabrics for clothing 

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are sent back in return. The carrying of foreign, exports from 
Canton to Sban-tung, whether over land or up the coast in native 
▼esselsy makes them so expensive as to preclude their use among 
the great majority of the inhabitants, who are poor and numerous. 
The population of Shan-tung is twenty-«ight millions. From 
Chih-le, ginseng, raisins, dates, skins, deer's flesh, wines, drugs, 
and tobacco, are sent hither ; and sundry other foreign imports go 
back in return. The population, amouining to twenty-seven mill* 
ions, is in a great degree, dependant on the productions of other 
provinces and countries for the necessaries of life. 

Shan-se sends skins, wines, ardent spirits, and muftk. Among 
its fourteen millions of inhabitants, there are many capitalists who 
come to Canton to increase their property by loaning money. 
Various kinds of cloths, European skins, watches, and native books, 
are sent up to the province of Shan-se. 

Shen-se also supports a large money trade in Canton, sends 
hither brass, iron, precious stones, and drugs ; and takes back wool- 
len and cotton cloths, books and wines. The populaticm is about 
ten millions. 

Kean-suh sends to Canton gold, quicksilver, musk, tobacco, &c., 
and receives in return, for its fifteen millions of inhabitants, a small 
amount of European goods. 

Sze-^ihuen sends gold, brass, iron, tin, musk and a great variety 
of other drugs : and receives in exchange, European cloths, lac- 
quered ware, looking-glasses, &c. Sze-cbuen is the largest of the 
eighteen provinces, and has a population of twenty-one millions. 

Yun-nan yiekls, for 4he shops of Canton, brass, tin, precious 
stones, musk, betel-nut, birds, and peacock's feathers ; and receives 
silks, woollen and cotton cloths, various kinds of {»rovisions, tobac- 
co and books in return* The population is live millions. 

Kuang-we has a population of seven millions, and furnishes the 
provincial city with large quantities of rice, cassia, iron, lead, fiuis, 
and wood of various kinds ; and takes in return many native pro- 
ductions, and most of the articles that come to Canton from beyond 

From Kfioei-choWf one of the central provinces, are brought gold, 
quicksilver, iron, lead, tobacco, incense, and drugs ; a few articles, 
chiefly foreign goods, find their way back to that province, lis 
population is five millions* 

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From the two proyinces, Hoo-nan and Hothpih, come hurge 
quantities of rhubarb ; also musk» tobaoco, honey, hemp, and a 
great rariety of ainging-birds ; the number of inhabitants is fire 
miDions. They make very considerable demands on the merchants 
of Canton, both for native productions and foreign imports. 

Keang se sends to this market, coarse cloths, hemp, china-ware» 
and drugs; and receit-es in return woollens and native books. 
The population is twenty-three miUions. Ho-fum has an equal 
number of inhabitants, and sends hither rhubarb, musk, almonds, 
honey, indigo, &c. ; woollens, and a few other foreign goods are 
received in return. 

This account of the domestic commeirce of Canton, is taken from 
native manuscript We have sought long^ but in vain, for some 
official document which would show at once, the di£ferent kinds, 
and the amount of merchandise, which are annually brought from, 
and carried to, the several provinces of the empire. The account 
which has been given must be regarded only as an approxima- 
tion to the truth. Some articles, doubtless, have been omitted, 
which ought to have been noticed, and vice versa ; one dommodi^ 
in particular, opium, known to be carried into all the provinces, 
and used to the amount of more than fifteen millions annually, is not 
even mentioned. Still, the statement which we have brought into 
view, shows that there is, in every part of the empire, a greater or 
less demand for foreign productions ; a demand which, so long as 
the commerce is confined to this port, will be supplied very disad- 
vantageously, both for the foreigner and the native ; but while it 
does remain thus restricted, there is reason to suppose that it will, 
under all its disadvantages, gradually increase ; and even if the 
northern ports of the empire should be immediately thrown open, 
it will not soon cease to be important. 

Though the merchants andfactors from the other provinces enjoy 
a considerable share of ihe commerce of Canton, yet they do not 
confine themselves to the domestic trade ; they participate largely 
in that to Tung-king, Codiin-China, Siam> and the islands of the 
eastern Archipelago. The whole number of Chinese" vessels, an 
nually visiting foreign ports south of Canton, is not probably less 
than one hundred ; of these, one third belong to Canton ; sis or 
eight go to Tung-king; eighteen or twenty to Cochin-China, 
Camboja, and Siam ; four or five visit the ports of Singapore, Java, 


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122 EMBASSY TO THS SAST. (Oetobei. 

Sumatra, and Penang; and as many more find their way to the 
Celebes, Borneo, and the Philippine islands. These vessels make 
only one voyage in the year, and always move with the monsoon. 
Many of the vessels, firom Fuh-keen and the northern ports of Chi- 
na, which go south, touch at Canton, both when outward and 
homeward bound. But the whole amount of trade to foreign ports, 
carried on by the Chinese merchants of Canton, is not very great; 
this is not the case with that which is in the hands of foreigners, 
which we shall notice in the following chapter. 

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Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, 
England, andtiie United States, share in the commerce of Canton. 

Hie Portuguese ships led the way to China in (he year 1576, 
but, difficulties occurring, they were restricted to Macao, to which 
place they have ever since been limited, excepting at short inter« 
▼als, when they have been allowed to visit other ports. 

The Chinese annals say, that in 1550, the Portuguese borrowed 
Haon-king-gaon, (Macao,) which is situated in the midst of dashing 
waves, where immense fish rise up, and again plunge into the deep ! 
the douds hover over it, and the prospect is really beautiiul — that 
they (the Portuguese) passed over the ocean, myriads of miles, in a 
wonderful manner ; and small and great ranged themselves under 
the renovating influence imparted by the glorious sun of the celes- 
tial empire. 

Spanish vessels enjoy greater privileges than those of any other 
nation : they trade at Macao, a privilege denied to all other foreign- 
ers, excepting the Portuguese ; at Canton, and at Amoy. 

The Falanke (French) reached Canton, in 1620; they entered 
the Tiger^s mouth (the Bogue) abruptly, but were driven away, be- 
cause the loud report of their guns frightened the inhabitants. 
Their trade has never been very extensive, though it has continued 
to the present time. During the few past years, they have em- 
ployed annually, two, three, or four ships in this trade. In the 
seasons 1832-33, there were three French ships in port. 

The Ho-lan-kwo-jin (Dutch) arrived at China, in the year 1601 ; 
they inhabited, in ancient times, a wild territory, and arrived at 

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124 SMBA88T TO THB SA8T. (Odflhn 

Macao in two or three large ships. Their clothes and hair were 
red, they had tall bodies, and blue, deeply sunken eyes, their feet 
were one cubit and two tenths long, and they frightened the 
people with their strange appearance ; notwithstanding tribute was 
brought by them, they had, in commencing trade, to struggle with 
many dif&culties ; and their commerce, during two centuries, has 
fluctuated exceedingly. Its present prospects are improving. A 
few years eince, they had only three or four ships, annually em- 
ployed in this trade. During the year 1832, seventeen, from Hol- 
land and Java, arrived in China, The value of imports^ was four 
hundred and fifty-seven thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight 
dollars. The exports amounted to six hundred and fifty-six 
thousand, six hundred and forty-five dollars, exclusive of the private 
trade of the commanders. 

Sweden has never, we beheve, in one season, sent more than 
two or three ships to CUna. The trade opened in 1732 : during 
the first fifteen subsequent years, twenty-two ships were despatch- 
ed to China, of whiqh four were lost. 

Peter Osbeck, who was here in 1750-51, as chaplain of the 
Prince Charles, a Swedish East Indiaman, relates, that there 
were at that season, eighteen European ships in port: one Danish, 
two Swedish, two French, four Dutch, and nine English. For th^ 
hat fifteen years, no Swedish ships have visited China. 

The Danes preceded the Swedes in their visits to China, but 
we coukl not ascertain the date of the year in which their trade 
began. During twelve year8> commencing in 1732» they sent 
thirty-two ships to China, twenty-seven of which only returned. 
Their flag was called Hwang-ke, *' the imperial flag," which name 
it has retained to this day. Their trade has never been extensive, 
though it has continued to the present time. 

The Rtissian trading vessels are excluded from the Chinese 
pcMTts ; their trade being confined to the northern provinces, by 

The English did not reach the coast of China, till about 
1935. The whole number of arrivals, during the year 1832^ was 
eighty-seven ; ten of this number performed two or three voyages 
from Chiim. Of the whole number, nine were from London, and 
sixty-two from ports, in India. The vessels brought to China, 
broadcloths, long-ells, camlets, British calicoes, worsted and cot- 

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ton yarn, cotton piece goods, Bombay, Madras and Bengal cotton, 
opiuin, sandat-wood^Jblack-wood, rattans, betel-nut, putcbuck, pep- 
per, cloves, saltpetre, cochineal, olibanum skins, ivory, amber, 
pearls, cornelians, watches and clocks, lead, iron, tin, quicksilver, 
shariL's fins, fisbmaws, stock-fish, &c. In return, they were laden 
with teas, silk, sugar, silk piece goods, cassia, camphor, vermilion, 
rhubarb, alum, musk and various other articles. The value of these 
exports and imports is as follows : — . 

In 1628-29, imports, twenty-one millions, three hundred and 
diirteen thousand, five hundred and twe|ity-six dollars ; exports, 
niaetee^ millions, three and sixty thousand, six hundred and 
twenty-five dollars : in 1829-30, imports, twenty-two millions, nine 
hundred and thirty*one thousand, three hundred and seventy-two dol« 
lars; exports, twenty-one millions, two hundred and fifty-seven 
thousand, two hundred and fifty-seven dollars : in 1 830-31, imports, 
twenty-one millions, nine hundred sixty-one thousand, seven hun- 
dred and fifty 'four dollars ; exports, twenty millions, four hundred 
and forty-six thousand, six hundred .and ninety-nine dollars : in 
lS31-d2, imports, twenty millions, five hundred and thirty-six thou- 
sand, two hundred and twenty-seven dollars ; exports, seventeen 
millions, seven hundred and sixty •seven thousand, four hundred 
#nd eighty-six dollars : in 183^33, imports, twenty-two millions,, 
three hundred and four thousand, seven hundred and fifty-three 
dollars ; exports, eighteen millions, three hundred and thirty-two 
thousand, seven hundred and sixty dollars. 

The American trade to China, is of very recent origin ; it con^ 
menced after the revolutionary war. The first recorded facts 
which we are able to obtain, carry back the trade only to the season 
of 17S4r^, in which two American ships were sent, laden, to 
Canton. In their return-cargo, they carried eight hundred and 
eighty thousand, one hundred pounds of tea: in the following sea- 
son, but one vessel was sent, which exported six hundred and nine- 
ty-five thousand pounds : in 1786-7, there were five American 
sliips, engaged in the trade : they exported one millicm, one hun- 
dred and eighty-one thousand, eight hundred and sixty pounds of 
this plant. One of these ships, was the '' Hope :" other ships, which 
were in port during this, and the following season, were the '' Wash* 
ington," '* Asia," and '' Canton ;" the last iwo, bcm Philadelphia. 

The number of American vessels, which arrived in China, during 

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the seasons of 1833-33, ending in June, 1833, was fifty^-mne. Some 
of these ships did not, however, take in cargoes at this port. 

These vessels brought quicksilver, lead, iron, South American cop- 
per, spelter, tin plates, Turkey opium, ginseng, rice, broadcloths^ 
camlets, chintzes, long ells, long cloths, cambrics, domestics, velvets^ 
bombazettes, handkerchiefs, hnen, cotton drillings, yam and prints, 
land and sea otter-skins, fox-skins, seal-skins, peari-shells, sandal- 
wood, cochineal, musical-boxes, clocks, watches, and sundry other 

In return, they were laden with teas, ^ilks, cassia, camphor, 
rhubarb, vermilion, china-ware, &c. These articles were carried 
to the United States, Europe, South America, Sandwidi islands, 
and Manila. The following statement will afford some idea of the 
progress in that trade, and show its present amount : — 

In 1805-6, imports, five millions, three hundred and twenty^ix 
thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight dollars ; exports, five milU 
ions, one himdred and twenty-seven thousand dolkrs : in 1815-16, 
imports, two millions, five hundred and twenty-seven thousand, 
five hundred dollars; exports, four millions, two hundred and 
twenty thousand dollars : in 1825-26, imports, three millicms, eight 
hundred and forty-three ^usand, seven hundred and seventeen 
dollars; exports, four millions, three hundred and sixty-threai 
thousand, seven hundred and eighty-eight dollars: in 1830-31, 
imports, four millions, two hundred and twenty-three thousand, 
four hundred and seventy-six dollars ; exports, four millions, three 
hundred and forty-four thousand, five hundred and forty-eight dol- 
lars : in 1831-32, imports, five millions, five hundred and thirty- 
one thousand, eight hundred and six dollars ; exports, five millions, 
nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, seven hundred and thirty- 
one dollars : in 1832-33, imports, eight millions, three hundred 
and sixty-two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-one dollars; 
exports, eight miUions, three hundred and seventy two thousand, one 
hundred and seventy-five dollars. 

It appears, from the foregoing statements, that the China tmde, 
employing, annaally, one hundred and forty first-rate vessels, and 
a large amount of capital, constitutes a very important branch of 
modem commerce : this, trade has always been carried on, and 
still exists, under circumstances peculiar to itself: it is secured by 
no commercial treaties, regulated by no stipulated rules : mandates. 

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nm COMMBRCB. 12t 

and edicts aot a few, there are on '^ record,'' but these all emanate 
from one party ; still, the trade lives, and, by that imperial favour 
which extends to " the four seas," flourishes and enjoys no small 
degree of protection. 

All vessels arriving on the coast of China, are, unless destined 
for the harbour of Macao, or the port of Canton, considered by the 
Chinese authorities, as intruders, and as such, must instantly depart* 
Year after year, however, vessels have found a safe and convenient 
anchorage at Lintin and its vicinity, where a large amount of busi* 
ness, including nearly the whole of the opium^ade, is transacted. 

Those vessels that are to enter the Bogue, must procure a permit, 
and a jnlot, at the Chinese custom-house, near Macao : .the pilots, 
having received license to act, must proceed on board immediately, 
and conduct the vessel to the anchorage, at Whampoa. 

A4 soon as the ship is officially reported at Canton, arrange- 
ments are made for discharging and receiving cargo, the whole 
iM^iiness of which is sometimes accomplished in three weeks, but 
usually, it extends to two or three months. Before this business 
can proceed, thjB consignee, or the owner of the ship, must obtain 
for her 9l security merchant, u, linguist, and a comprador; and a de- 
claration must be given, except by those of the East India Com- 
pany, that she has no opium on board. The security merchant, 
or individual who gives security to government for the payment of 
her duties, and for the conduct of the crew, must be a member of 
the co-lumg ; this company is composed at present, of twelve indi- 
viduals, usually called hong-merehants : some of these men rank 
among the most wealthy and respectable inhabitants of Canton : 
they pay lai^ely for the privilege of entering the co-hong: when 
they have once joined that body, they are seldom allowed to retire 
iirom the station, and, at all times, are liable to heavy exactions, from 
the provincial government. Formerly, the whole, or nearly the 
whole foreign trade, was in their hands : within a few years, it has 
extended to others who are not included in the co-hong ; and whd 
are commonly called outside merchants. 

The linguists, so called, hold the rank of interpreters : they pro- 
cure permits for delivering and taking in caigo ; transact all busi-. 
ness at the custom-house, keep account, of the duties, &c. 

The comprador proyides stores, and all the necessary pro^ 
Tiaions for the ship, while she remains in port. 

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188 EMBASSY ;rO THB bast. lOcUbtr, 

The port-charges consist of measuTement-duty, cumshaW, pilotr 
age, linguist and comprador's fees. The measurement-duty 
varies : on a vessel of three hundred tons, it is about six hundred 
and fifty dollars, and on a vessel of about thirteen hundred tons, it 
is about tliree thousand dollars : the tonnage, however, affords no 
fixed criterion, for the amount of measurement-duty. But, for all 
ships, the cumshaw, pilotage^, linguist and comprador's fees^ are 
the same, amounting to two thousand, five hundred and seventy- 
three dollars. 

Those vessels that enter the port, laden only with ricey are not 
required to pay the measurement-duty and cumshaw, but they are 
liable to other irregular fees, amounting to nearly one thousand 

The management and genend supervision of the port-charges, are 
intrusted to an imperial commissioner, who is sent hither from 
the court of Peking. In Chinese, he is called hae^wan-keen*tuli, 
but, by foreigners, he is usually styled the hoppo : his regular 
salary is about three thousand taels per annum, but his annod 
income is supposed to be bo less than one hundred thousand dol- 

* The arrangements between the native apd foreign meiehants of 
Canton for the transaction of business are„ on the \yhole, conveni- 
ent and pretty well calculated to promote despatch, and to secuie 
eonfid^fice in the respective parties. 

The Chinese merchants have a well-earned reputation as slirewd 
dealers : they have little confidence in each other; every contract 
of importance must be " fixed," and made sure by the payment of 
a stipulated sum : but they place the. most unlimited confidence in 
the integrity of their foreign customers. 

Among the oufffide merchants the trade is very limited, and 
their number being unlimited, there is often much competition be 
tween thems The whole of the East India company^s business, 
a large ppition of the English private trade, and that of othet 
foreigners, are confined to the hong^merchants and those who 
transact business in connexion with them. 

The establishments of the principal hong^^nerehants are exten* 
sive ; they have numerous and convenient ware-houses in which 
they store goods, and from whence export-jcargoes are .oonveyedy 
in lighters, to the shipping at Whampea. 

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The names of the hong-mercfaants are Howqua, Mowqua, Pu* 
ankhequa, Goqua, Fatqua, Kingqua, Sunshing, Mingqua, Saoqua, 
and Punlioqua. The Rev. Robert Morrison, D. D.» is Chinese 
translator to the British East India company, and Mr. 6. R. Mor^ 
rison, his son, to those termed the outside British merchants. The - 
four linguists are named. Atom, Achow, Atung, and Akang. 

The foreign factories^ the situation of which has abready 
been noticed, are neat and commodious buildings: the plot of 
ground on which they stand is circumscribed by narrow limits^ 
extending about sixty rods from east to west, and forty rods from 
north to south : it is owned, in common with most of the factories^ 
by the hong-merchants. 

The factories are called shifa-san-hang, ^' the thirteen factories '^ 
with the exception of two or three narrow streets, they form a solid 
block ; each factory extends in length, through the whole breadth 
of the block, imd has its own proper name which, if not always 
appropriate, is intended to be indicative of good fortune : the.first» 
commencing on the east, is e-ho-hang, the factory of '^ justice and 
peace ;" it communicates with the city ditch : the second is the 
Dutch ; it is called paon-ho-hong, " the factory that ensures tran<« 
quiUlty :" Hog-lane separates this from the fourth, which is called 
fimg-tae-hang, ^ the great and affluent er. chow-chow factory ;** it 
derives the latter name from its mixture of inhabitants, viz. : — ^Par^ 
seeS) Moormen, &c. : the fifth, being the old English factory, is 
named bung«shan-hong : the sixth, the Swedish factory, is called 
friiy-hang: the seventh, commonly called the imperial factory, ma« 
ying-hang: the eighth, paon-shun-hang, or ^' the precious and 
prosperous factory :" the ninth, the American factory, is termed 
kwang-yuen-hang, " the factory of wide fountains.'* A broad 
stveet, called China-street, separates kwang-yuen-hang from the 
tenth factory, wliich is occupied by one of the hong merchants : 
the eleventh is the French factory : the twelfth, the Spanish fac-* 
tory : the thirteenth, and last, is the Danish factory. The twelfth 
and thirteenth are- separated by a street occupied by Chinese 
merchants, generally culled New China^street. 

Each factory is divided into three, four, or more houses, of 
which each factor occupies one or more, according to circumstances. 
Brick or granite Is the. material used in the erection of these build- 
ings, which are two stories high, and present a moderately svb^ 


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stantial front. They form, with the foreign flags which ware 
above them, a pleasing contrast to the national banner and archi- 
tecture' of the celestial ^mpirCf 

Besides the British East India company's establishment, there 
are nine Bntish merchants and agents, seven American^ one French, 
and one Dutch. Between Canto):i, Macao, and on board the sta- 
tionary ships at Linting, there are distributed one hundred and 
forty residents^ exclusive of twenty-five belonging to the East 
India company's establishment, viz. : Sixty-lhree British, thirty- 
one Asiatic British subjects, twenty Americans, eleven Portuguese, 
three Dutch, four Danish, three Swedish, three Spanirii, one 
French, and one Genoese. 

Messrs. MaikwidL and Lane keep a European bazar, and die 
British hotel is kejpt by C. Markwick in the imperial hong; the 
European ware-house and hotel is kept by Robert Edwards, in the 
American hong. 

Two newspapers are printed in the English language, the " Can- 
ton Register,'* and the " Chinese Courier ;" the first, half-monthly, 
and the second, weekly, accompanied by price-currents. There 
is also, printed in English, a very useful and praiseworthy work, 
called the " Chinese Repository," to which I am indebted for a 
considerable portion of the information relative to Canton, its com- 
merce, dec. « 

The difiiculty, which formerly existed in visiting and commtini- 
cating with Macao, Linting, and Cap-shuy-moon, is now happily 
removed by the establishment of two excellent cutters, under 
British colours, which have very convenient accommodations. 
Chinese boats also may be had in abundance, either for the outer 
ship channel to or from Linting, Cap-shuy*moon, or Macao, or the 
inner passage to and from Macao, and which foreign boats are not 
allowed io use* 

The style of living in China (we refer to foreign society) is simi- 
lar to that of India, except that here man is deprived of that " help" 
appointed to him by a divine decree, which no human authonty 
can justly abrogate, and enjoyed by him in every latid save this. 

A gentleman, fitting up an establishment in Canton, must first 
obtain a comprador ; this is an individual permitted, by special 
license, to act as head-servant ; to him belong the general super- 
intendance of domestic household aiSfairs, the procuring of ciher 

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servants, purchasing provisions, &c., according to the wishes of 
his employer. Visiters to Canton usually speak in high terms of 
the domestic arrangements of the residents. 
\ This place presents few objects of much interest to the mere 
man of pleasure. . Considering the latitude, the climate is agreea- 
ble end healthy ; provisions of good quality and great variety are 
abundant ; but the want of a purer air, and wider range, than are 
enjoyed in the midst of the densely populated metropolis, to which 
the residents are here confined, often makes them impatient to 
leave the provincial city. 

The moim/actortes and trades of Canton are numerous: there 
is no machinery, properly so called, consequently there are no 
extensive mani;dacturing establishiaients similar to those which,' in 
modem times, and under the power of machinery, have groWn up 
in Europe. The Chinese know nothing of the economy of time* 
Much of the manufacturing business required to supply the com- 
mercial houses of Canton, is performed at Fuh-shan, a large town 
situated a few- miles westward of the city; still, the number of 
hands .employed, and the amount of labotur performed here, are by 
no means inconsiderable. 

I There are annually about seventeen thousand persons, men, 
women, and children, engaged in weaving silk ; their looms are 
simple, and their work is generally executed with neatness. The 
number of persons engaged in manufacturing cloth of all kinds, is 
about fifty thousand ; when the demand is pressing for work, the 
number of labourers is considerably increased ; the workmen oc- 
cupy about two thousand, five hundred shops, averaging, usually^ 
twenty in each. 

We have heard it said, that some of the Chinese fcmales, who 
devote their time to embroidering the choicest of the fabrics^ 
secure a profit of twenty and sometimes even twenty-five dollars 
per month. Shoemakers are numerous and support an extensive 
trade, the number of workmen being about four thousand, two 
hundred. The number of those who work in brass, wood, iron» 
stone, and various other materials, is likewise large. Those who, 
engage in 'each' of these occupations form, to a certain degree, a 
separate community, having their distinct lavrs ^and rules tot th^ 
regulation of business. 

The book-trade of Canton is important, but we have not beea 

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able to obtain particulars in relation to its extent. The barber9 
form a separate department, and no one is allowed to perform the 
duties of tonsor until be has obtained a license. 

According to their records, the number of this firatemity in Can* 
ton, at the present time, is seven thousand^ three hundred 1 

There is another body of men, which we know not how to de- 
signate or describe ; the medical community ; which must not be 
passed over without notice. That these men command high 
respect and esteem whenever they show themselves skilled in their 
profession, there can be no doubt ; it is generally admitted, also, that 
individuals do now and then, by long experience and observation, 
become able practitioners; but, as a community, they axe any 
thing rather than masters of the *^ healing art." About two thou* 
sand of these '^ physicians" dwell in Canton. 

No inconsiderable part of the multitude Which composes the 
population of Canton hv^s in boats. There are officers appointed 
'by government to regulate and control this portion of the city's 
inhabitants. Every boat, of all the various sizes and descriptions 
that are seen here, is registered y and it appears. that the whole 
number on the river, adjacent to the city, is eighty-four thousand. 
A great maj(»rity oi these are tankea (egg-4iouse) boats, cilled by. 
some, sampans ; these are generally not more than twelve or fifteen 
feet long, about six broad, and so low tliat a person can Scarcely 
stand up in them : their covering, naade of bamboo, is very lig^t^ 
and can be , easily adjusted to the state of the weather. Whole 
famihcs.Hve in these boats, and in coops lashed on the outside of 
them they oft^i rear large broods of ducks and chickens, designed 
to supply the city-markets. Passage-boats which daily move to 
and from the city-hamlets, ferry-boats which are constantly cros* 
ing and recrossing the river, huge canal-boats, laden with produce 
from the country, cruisers, pleasure-boats, &c., complete the list 
of these floating habitations, and preset to the stranger a very 
interesting scene. 

There has been considerable diversity of opinion in relation to 
the population of Canton. The division of the city which brings 
a part of it into Nan-hae, and a part into Pwang-yu, precludes 
the possibility of ascertaining the exact amount of population* 
The facts which we have brought into view in the preceding 
pages, perhaps will afford the best data for making an accuiate 

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Vlftl P0PVLATI6K 133 

estimate of the number of inhabitants in th^ city. There axe, we 
have already seen, fifty thousand persons engaged in tble manufac* 
ture of cloth, seven thousand^ three hundred barbers, and four 
thousand, two hundred shoemakers ; but these three occupations 
employing sixty-one thousAiid, five hundred individuals, dq not, 
probably, include more than one fourth of the craftsmen in the city ; 
allowing this to be the fact, the whole number of mechanics will 
amount to two hundred and forty-six thousand ; these, we suppose, 
are a fourth part of the whole population, exclusive of those who 
live on the rivers. In each of the eighty-four thousand boats, there 
are not less, on an average, than three individuals ; making a total 
of two hundred and forty-two thousand ; if to them we add two 
hundred and forty-six thousand, (which is the number of mechan- 
ics,) the amount will be one million, two hundred and thirty-six 
thousand, as the probable number of inhabitants in Canton. 

This number may possibly be incorrect ; no one, however, who 
has had an opportunity of passuig through the streets of the city, 
and viewing the multitudes that tiirong them, will think the esti- 
mate below one milUon. 

It only remains to remark, briefly, in conclusion, the influence 
which Canton is exerting on the character and destinies of this 
empire. Intelligent natives admit that more luxury, dissipation, 
and crime, exist here, than in any other portion, of the empire; 
they maintain, at the same time, that more enterprise, enlarged ~ 
views, and general information, prevail among the higher class of 
the inhabitants of Canton, than are found in most of the other large 
cities ; the bad qualities are the result of a thrifty commerce acting 
on a large population, in the absence of high moral principles ; tlie 
good, which exist in a very limited degree, result from an inter- 
course with '' distant barbarians.'* 

The contempt and hatred which the Chinese have often exhibit- 
ed towards foreigners, and the indifference and disdain with which 
the nation has looked down upon every thing not its own, ought to 
be thoroughly reprobated; on the other hand, the feelings which 
•foreigners have cherished, and the disposition, and conduct which 
they have too frequently manifested towards this people, are such 
as never should have existed. Notwithstanding all these disadvan- 
tages, we think the intercourse between the Chinese and the peo^ 
pie of the western world, beneficial to the former ; and hitherto 

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134 KMBAS8T TO THB BAST. fOeUbtr. 

this intercoarse has been purely commercial ; science, literature, 
and all friendly and -social offices, have been disregarded. We 
trust ferrently, that such a period ' has departed, that men are 
beginning to feel they have moral obligations to discharge, and that 
they are bound by the most sacred ties to interest themselves in 
the intellectual, moral, and i^eligious improvement of their-^arious 
brethren in the distant nations of the earth 

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Auo^Q the eocports and imports to and from China^ are certain 
articles^ which are not generally known to nierchants not engaged 
in commerce to the ea«&ward of the cape of Good Hope, amon^ 
which are : — 

Agar-agar : this article is a species of seaweed, imported from 
New Holland, New Guinea, dec. It makes a valuable paste, and 
is' extensively used in the manufacture of silks and paper. It is 
also used as a sweetmeat. There are several species otfucus im- 
ported, which are eaten both in a crude state, and cooked, by the 
lower classes. 

Amomum: these seeds have a strong pungent taste, and a 
penetrating aromatic smell; they are used to season sweet dishes. 

Anise^eed stars are so called from the .manner in which they 
grow ; they are used also, to season sweet dishes, hare an aromatic 
taste, and from them is extracted a volatile pil. 

Capoor cretchery is the root of a plant : it has a pungent and 
bitterish taste, and a slightly aromatic smell. It is exported to 
Bombay^ and is used for medical purposes, and to preserve 

Coral is valuable acccnrding to the colour, density^ and size of 
the fragments : when made into buttons, it is used among the 
Chinese as an insignia of office. r- 

Cutch or Terra Japohica is a gummy resin, and is imported 
from Bombay and Bengal. 

Gambler is similar to cutch, althpugh the produce of two differ- 
ent plants : it is chewed with areca-nut, and is used also in China» 
for tanning ; but it renders the leather porous and rotten^ 

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Gcdengal is used principally in cookery; it has a hot, acrid^ 
peppery taste, and an aromatic smell. 

The Chinese weigh all articles which are bought and sold, that 
are weighable ; as moneys wood^ vegetables, liquids, &c. This 
renders their dealings more simple than those of other nations, who 
buy and sell commodities, with more reference to the articles them- 
selves. Their divisions of weights and measures are into money 
and commercial weights, and long, and land measures, &c. 

The ciroulating niedium between foreigners and Chinese, is 
broken Spanish dollars, the value of which is usually^ computed 
by their weight. Dollars bearing the stamp of Ferdinand, have 
usually borne a premium of one, to one and a half per cent., while 
those of Carolus have risen as high as seven or eight per- cent., but 
are subject to a considerable variation, according to the season, 
and different times of the season. Those coins bearing the stamp 
of the letter G, are not received by the Chinese, except at a dis- 
count. Mexican and United States' dollars, do not pass among the 
Chinese,' but are taken at par, by foreigners : every individual coin 
has the mark of the person, through whose hands it passes, stamped 
upon it. 

As the number of these marks soon becomes very numerous, die 
coin is quickly broken in pieces ; and, this process of stamping 
being continually repeated, the fragments gradually become veiy 
small, and are paid away entirely by weight. The highest weight 
used in reckoning money, is tael, (leang,) which is divided into 
mace, (tseen,) candareens, (Am,) and cash, (le.) The relative value 
of these terms, both among the Chinese, and in foreign money, 
can be seen by the following table. It shoidd be observed here, 
that these terms, taels, mace, candareens, casfi, peculs, and catHes^ 
covids, punts, &;c., are not Chinese words, and are never used by 
the Chinese among themselves ; and, the reason of their employ- 
ment by foreigners, instead of the legitimate terms, is difficult to 

TmL llac€. OHidireens. Ctth. Ounce troj. GniiiB troy. Storikv DoDan. 

1 10 100 Mm i;»6 679.81 e*. 8d. 1,389 a 1^ 

1 10 no 67.984 8rt. 138a(]^139 
1 6.7981 8d. 

The valuo here given for the tael, in sterling money and doOais, 
is not the exact value : and it is difficult to ascertain, owing to 
the ignorance of the Chinese, of such money among other nations. 

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coiK. 137 

The value given to the tael in the sterling money, is tfa^t which is 
foimd on the books of the East India company : that given to the 
dolhtfy is tbe extremes of its value. 

The only coin of the Chinese, is called cash^ (or le^) which is 
made of six parts of copper, and four of lead. The c6ins are thin 
and circular, and nearly an inch in diameter, having a square hole 
in the eentre, for the convenience of tying them together, with a 
raised edge, both around the outside, and the bole.' Those now in 
use, have the name oi the emperor stamped upon them, in whose 
reign they were cast. Notwithstanding their little value, they are 
much adulterated with spelter ; yet, on account of ^heirx^onvenience 
in paying small sums, and for common yse, diey generally bear a 
premium, and but eight hundred and fifty can commonly be obtain- 
ed for a tael. The use of silver coin, however, appears to be in- 
creasing among die Chinese, as by recent accounts, we learn that 
silver doUara have been made in Fuh-keen and other places, con- 
trary to the laws of the empire. ' 

Bullion is rated by its fineness, which is expressed by divi- 
ding the weight into a hundred parts, called touches. If gold is said 
to be ninety-four at ninety-eig^t touches, it is known to have one 
or two parts of alloy ; the remainder is pure silver metal ; is esti- ' 
mated in the same manner ; and without alloy or nearly so, is called 
syoee, which bears a premium according to its parity ; the most pure 
sycees are equal in fineness to ihe plata^pina of Peru, which is now 
principally imported by vessels of the United States, engaged in 
conmerce to the Spanish ports on the Pacifii^. It is cast into 
ingots, (by the Chinese, called shoes, from their shape,) stamped 
with the mark of the office that issued them, and the date of their 
emission. It is usedto pay government taxes and duties, and the 
sidaries of officers. The ingots weigh firom one half, to one hun- 
dred taels, and bear a value accordingly. Sycee silver is the only 
approach among the Chinese to a silver currency ; gold ingots are' 
made, weighing ten taels each, and are worth between twenty 
two and twenty^hree dollars ; but neither gold ingots, nor doub- 
loons, nor any other gold coin, are used as money among the Chi- 
nese. Great caution should be used in purchasing ingots or bars 
of silver, as they are subject to many adulterations, and are not un 
frequently cast hollow, and filled with lead, to complete the weight.' 
In fiict, every species of firaud is practised by the dealers in bullion. 


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138 ' EMBA.8 8Y TO THE EAST. [OcMbtt, 

The only weights in use among the Chinese, besides those of 
money, are the peculi (tan,) catty^ (kin,) and tael, (leang.) The 
proportion these bear to each other, and to English weights, is 
exhibited in the following table : — 

PecuL Cattlea. TmIb. Lbi. avoir. Oat Lbi.trof. 

1 100 1600 133 f 1.0.21 f 

1 ' 16 l# 

Usage has established a difference between the tael of commer- 
cial weights, which, at the rate of one hundred and thirty*three and 
a third pounds to the pecul, weighs five hundred and eighty-three 
and a half troy grains, and the tael of money weight, of which 
the old standard is 579.84 grains troy. By ^e above table, it 
appears, that one ton is equal to sixteen peculs, and eighty catties ; 
one hundred weight to eighty-four catties; one pound, avoir* 
dupois to three fourths of a catty, or twelve taels. The Portuguese 
at Macao, have a pecul for weighing cotton, and valuable articles ; 
a second for coarse goods ; and again, a diflferent one for rice. But 
the Chinese, among themselves, know no difference^ either in the' 
weight of a pecul for different articles,,jcnr in the tael, whether used 
for money or goods. 

1 The principal measures in use among the Chinese, are three ; 
namely, long measure, land measure, and dry measure. 
t The principal measure of length, is the covtJ, (chih,) which is 
divided into ten puntSy (tsun.) The covid vmes considerably, 
according as it is used for measuring cloths, distances, or vessels. 
That determined upon by the mathematical tribunal, is^ 13.125 
English inches; that used by tradesmen^ at Canton, is about 
14.625 inches; the one by which distances are usually rated, 
is nearly 12.1 inches, and that employed by eiigineers, for public 
works, 12.7 inches. The le or mile, is also an uncertain measure, 
varying more than the covid or foot Its conomon measure is 
three hundred, sixteen, and a quarter fathoms, or one thousand, 
eight hundred, ninety-seven and a half EngUsh feet ; it is the 
usual term, in which length is estimated. The Chinese reckon 
one hundred, ninety-two and a half le, for a degree of latitude and 
longtitude ; but the Jesuits divided the degree into two hundred 
and fifty le^ each le being one thousand eight hundred and twenty- 
six English feet, or the tenth part of a French league, which is the 
established measure at present. A b, according to this measure* 
ment, is a little more than one third of on English mile. 

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OPIUM. 13d 

Land measure has also varied considerably, but is at present 
established by authority. By this rule, one thousand, two hun- 
dred covids make an acre or more, which contains about six 
thousand, six hundred square feet. 

Rice, or paddy, is the only article measured in vessels the di- 
mensions of which have been fixed by law or usage ; but as even 
rice and paddy are usually weighed when sold in large quantities, 
the vessels for measuring these commodities are but little used. 

To perform these calculations, the Chinese have an arithmetical 
board, or abacus, called swan-pan, or " counting-board,^ on which, 
by constant practice, they will perform calculations in numbers 
with surprising facility. It consists of an oblong frame of wood, 
having a bar running lengthwise about two thirds of its width 
from one side. Through this bar, at right angles, are inserted a 
number of parallel wires, having moveable balls on them, five oh 
one side, and two on the otheri The principle on which compu- 
tations are made, is this ; that any ball in the larger compartment, 
being placed against the bar and called unity, decreases or in- 
creases by tenths, hundredths, 6cc. ; and the corresponding balls 
in the smaller divisions, by fifths, fiftieths, &c. : if one in the 
smaller compartment is placed against the middle bar, the opposite 
unit or integer, which may be any one of the digits, is multiplied 
by five. 

I Having heretofore cursorily alluded to the vast sum annually 
expended in the importation of opium, I now proceed to give a more 
particular statement concerning the trade, the number of smokers, 
&c., &c. The opium-trade, which scarcely attracted the notice of 
merchants previously to the vear 1816, has now swollen into great 
importance, by the rapid ana extensive sale of one of the most 
destructive narcotics which the world ever knew, and which is 
used in China as a pernicious indulgence, by smoking. The gov- 
ernment has passed the most rigorous laws to prevent its importa- 
tion and use, but as the oflicers of the' revenue boats, from Liming 
and Cap-shuy-moon to Canton, are bribed, and receive a stipulated 
fee on every chest of opium, and every other article illegally im- 
ported, smuggling is no longer fraught with any material risk, and 
has at length assumed the appearance of a regular branch of com- 
merce. Once in two or three years, the-Chinese admiral is order- 
ed to proceed to the smuggling depou at the island of Lintmg, 

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(alias Ling-ting) the "Solitary Vail,** or the "Destitute Orphan,* 
or to Cap-sin-moon, alias, Gap-shuy-moon, or the " Swift water 
passage," and exterminate the " foreign barbarians." He goes down 
in formidable array, with an immense number of flags flyiilg ; and 
the sound proceeding from an endless number of great gongs and 
other noisy instruments, is heard, with a favourable wind, long be- 
fore his fleet "heaves in sight;" the smugglers are previously 
informed, of his coming, (for public notice is given many weeks, 
perhaps months, before he arrives ;) the imperial fleet is then hove 
to, at a safe distance, far beyond the reach of cannon-shot, from 
three to five miles ; the gongs are then beaten with the utmost 
fury, the trumpets blown, and the thousands of warriors shout 
and bellow with loud vociferations, to frighten away the monsters, 
and a cannon-shot or two is fired, perhaps ; the " barbarians" then 
get under %ay very leisurely with a topsail pr two bent, and pro* 
ceed towards the Ladrone, or Rogues islands, called by the Chi* 
nese " Low man-shan," or the " old ten thousand hills;" this satisfies 
the commander, who returns back, and sounds far and wide, his 
valorous deeds in alms^ (arms,) (for he is one of the beggars who 
asks a douceur.) Forthwith a courier is despatched to die impe- 
rial court, announcing, that the Fankwai, or " Foreign white 
devils" are blown into " ten thousand atoms," and Uiat tlieir carcass- 
es have been given to the fish, and to birds of prey. As soon aa 
the Chinese fleet " about ship" to return, which is done immedi- 
ately if possible, down drop the anchors of the " Fankwai," the sails 
are unbent, the smuggling boats are laden again as usual ; and 
thus ends this ridiculous farce. 

To show the destructive tendency of this trade in every point of 
view, to the Chinese empire, a statement is, herewith presented, set- 
ting forth the alarming increase of the imports from 1817, to 1833 : 

In the season ending in 1817, three thousand, two hundred and 
ten chests of Patna, Benares,. and Malva opium, containing one 
hundred and five catties, or one hundred and forty pounds 
each chest, were imported, which sold for the sum of three 
millions, six hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars: in the 
season ending in 1833, fifteen thousand six hundred and sixty- 
two chests from Jndia were imported, which sold for thirteen 
miUions, seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand, two hun- 
dred and ninety dollars ; the whole value of the known import* 

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tml * OPIUM'SMOKERS. 141 

ations during the time named, being sevente^ years only, was 
the enorxnoofl sum of one hundred and fifty millions, one hun* 
dred and thirty four thousand, six hundred and sixty-eight dollarfl^ : 
the number of smokers, allowing three candareens of 17*40 grains 
troy, per day to each, had increased from about one hundred thou* 
sand, to about one million, four hundred and seTenty-fire thou- 
sand, seren hundred and twenty*six. If to the quantity already 
stated, there is added the importation of Turkey opium, of which we 
hare no regular account, as well as the quantity smuggled by 
Chinese junks from Singapore, &c., all of which may be fairly 
estimated at one third more ; the number of chests imported in the 
year 1633, would be about twenty-one thousand, which probably 
sold. for the sum of twenty millions of dollars: the number of 
smokers may be estimated at nearly two millions. The crude 
opium undergoes a very expensive process by boiling, or seething 
and straining, not less than twice,, before it is fit for use; it is 
then made into small pills, or put into the pipe, in a semi-fluid state, 
and taken off, at two or three U)hiffSf the smoke being vented reiy 
slowly through the nostrils, the recipient lying at the same time 
in a recumbent posture. Although the Chinese are well aware of 
its baneful effects, and that it is yearly draining the country of the 
▼alue of many millions of dollars, yet they say, " it is a Josh 
Pigeon," (meaning that God hath so decreed it,) and they cannot 
prevent it A chest of opium, which cost eight hundred dollars, is 
said to quadruple in price, when prepared for use. 

Opium is vended as openly as teas, by the foreign merchants ; the 
quantity disposed of, and on hand, and the average price, are printed 
and published monthly, and are in the possession of eveiy dealer ; 
and the chits, or orders given on the commanders of the ships, are 
generally sold like scrip, to a great number of persons on specula* 
tion, before the delivery is finally completed. 

The tremendous and honible effects upon the personal appear • 
ance of its votanes, maybe seen daily, about the suburbs of Canton, 
and of all the pitiable objects the eye ever saw, a confirmed opium* 
smoker is apparently the most degraded and worthless. When 
he has once passed the Rubicon, reformation seems to be impos* 
sible, the sting of death which is sin, has seized up<m him, his feet 
are already within the precincts of the grave, and he has sunk like 
liudfer, '^ never to rise again." When the effect has subsided, an 

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emaciated, nerveless wretch is seen, with a cadaTerous skin, 
eyeballs wildly protruding from their sockets, the step Altering, 
the voice weak and feeble, and the countenance idiotic ; but when 
an opium-smoker lies under the baneful influence of thfe narcotic, the 
images which flit before his diseased imagination, are exquisite, 
brilliant, heavenly : it is the Nepenth6, prepared by the hands of 
the fair Helen, which so exhilarated the spirits of^all who had the 
happiness ta partake of it, that all care was banished for the time 
being, from their benighted recollections. 

The Matotchou historians have endeavoured to conceal their 
very modem rise as a kingdom, ,by veiling their origin in fables, and 
deducing their descent from adivinity ; through these fabler, how- 
ever, it is not difficult to ascertain with a considerable degre.e of ac- 
curacy, their real descent. Their nation is evidently formed by 
the .union of several Toungouse tribes, occupying the country, to 
the north of Corea, and on the banks of the river Amour. These 
tribes had by their former ynions rendered themselves formidable 
to their neighboiirs ; and in the time of the Sung dynasty, from A. 
D. 060 to 1278, had, under the Chinese name of the Kin, or golden 
dynasty, answering to the Mantchou name Aisin, subdued several 
northern districts of China. Their farther progress was inter- 
rupted by the Mongols,^ under Agodai Khan, grand ^on of Genghis 
Khan, who, in the thirteenth century, destroyed both the Sung 
dynasty, and its enemies, and founded the Yuen dynasty. The 
kingdom of Kin, or Aisin^being thus destroyed, its tribes returned 
to their original country, where they continued more or less inde- 
pendent of each other, and. of their Mongol conquerors. Among 
the chiefs of their tribes, was one Aisin Keolo, or Gioro, whom the 
Mantchous make the son of a divine virgin, who became pregnant of 
him by eating a fruit, brought to her in the bill of a magpie. This 
Aisin Gioro, at first, ruled over three tribes; but subsequently, 
others submitted to him, and he. became king of a nation, to which 
he gave the name of Mantchou, or Manchow, which signifies ** the 
full or well-peopled country." At this point, the thread of Mantchou 
history is broken, and even names disappear Ar three or four gene- 
rations ; nor is the history resumed, till the close of the sixteenth 
century, when the chief, who then governed the Mantchous, in- 
censed at the murder of his father, and grandfather, by a tribe 
which had revolted from them, and become confederate with the 

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Chinese dynasty of Ming, began to wage war against the latter. 
After thirty-three years, he had gained such power, and ruled over 
so many tribes, as well Mantchou as Mongol/ that in the year 
1616, he took the title of enaperor, and adopted "Teenming, 
Heaven's decree,** as his Kwo-haou or title. Previous to, this 
event, in the year 1599, he appointed persons to form an alphabet 
for the use of his people, for, .up to that period, the Mantchous pos- 
sessed no written language. The alphabet which Uiey adopted, 
was derived irom, and improved upon the Ouigour and Mongol 
alphabets, the Mongol being a modification of the Ouigour, a deriva- 
tive of the Syriac. During the rest of his reign, which continued 
eleven years longer, Teenming was at- constant war with the Chi- 
nese, and dying, left the throne to his eighth son, who first adopted 
the title of TeentAung; which he retained for nine years, and then 
thatof Tsungtih, which continued till his death in 1643; though 
not of so warlike a disposition as his father, he continued the war 
during the whole of his rei^ ; owing to the dissensions wliich pre- 
vailed among the Chinese princes of the Ming dynasty, and the 
numerous revolts, which took place throughout the empire, he was 
enabled with little trouble, to take possession of Peking, the capital, 
and to found a new dynasty in China. 

This monarch died while yet on the field of victory, leaving the 
throne to his ninth son, a child of six years old, to whom was given, 
the title of Kwohaou of Shunche. The young monarch was, inune- 
diately after his fatlier's death, carried into the city of Peking, and 
proclaimed emperor, amid the acclamations of the people. His 
reign, and the commencement of the Mantchou or Ya-tsing 
dynasty, dated from the year 1644. 

When about fourteen years of age, one of the regents dying, 
and some dispute arising, as to who should take his place, Shunchei 
laid aside his minority, and assumed all the functions of imperial 
power. He made few alterations in the old system of government, 
being fully occupied in strengthening the dominion, which had 
been obtained for him ; for many Chinese princes still possessed 
parts of the empire, and assumed the imperial title. 
. The last of these named Yungleih, was not slain, till the clo- 
sing year of Shunche's reign, nor did bis death put an end to all 
fears, for Chingchingkung, known to Eiuopeans, under the name 
of Koxinga, stiU hovered about the coast, w^th a large fleet. 

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144 BMBAtSY TO TBB BAST. fOetotar, 

At Shunche's death, in the year 1661, his third son succeeded 
to the throne, at the age of eight years, a regency of four chief 
ministers being appointed to govern during his minority. The 
new monarch's Kwo-haou was Kanghe. 

Soon after Eanghe's -accession, ^e. regency compelled all ihe 
inhabitants of the maritime districts throughout China to retire 
thirty Chinese miles from the east ; by which means die power of 
Koxinga was much weakened ; but at the same time a great num- 
ber of families were reduced to want. In the 12th year of his 
reign, 1673, there was a general revolt of the Chinese princes, who 
were yet living, but from their dissensions and petty jealousies 
among then^selves, they were unable to effect any thing. It -was 
not, however, till 1616, that they were finally subdued. In the 
following year, 1682, the western part of Formosa was wrested 
from the grandson of Kc^tinga, and has since that time remained 
in the hands of the Chinese. j 

The conquest of China being firmly established, Kanghe was 
now able to turn his attention to his own country, which he visited, 
attended by his whole court and an army of sixty thousand men. 
He also sent ambassadors to the frontiers, to settle with the Rus* 
sians the limits of the two empires — ^nor did he confine hiniself to 
the possessions already obtained^ but under pretence of assisting 
the Mongols, many of whom had become tributary to the Mantchou 
monarchs, previously to the conquest of China, he extended his 
possessions northeastward, into the country of the Soungarians, 
whom, as well as some of the tribes of Turkestan and of Thibet, 
he entirely subdued. 

After a long and glorious reig^i of sixty-one years, Kanghe died 
in 1722, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, leaving the succession 
to his fourth son ; but his fourteenth son taking advantage of his 
elder brother's absence from the capital, seized on the billet of 
succession, and having changed the number four to fourtee^i as* 
sumed the throne and the Kwo-haou of Yuhg-ching. 

Yung-ching^s reign is chiefly remarkable for his persecution of 
the Roman Catholic missionaries, most of whom were sent out of 
the country. He showed neither the literary nor the military tal- 
ents displayed by his father, Kanghe, and by his son and succes- 
sor Keentung ; but he was attentive to the business of the govern- 
ment, and to the people. In the fourth year of his reign, the 

( Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


treaty of peace, now existing between the Russian and Chinese 
empires, was ratified. By tfais instrument, the Russians, among 
other priTileges, are permitted to ha^e an academy and church, with 
an archimandrite, three inferior jpriests, and six scholars, at Pekin. 
The time fixed for their stay there is ten years. Yung-ching 
reigned thirteen years, and died in the year 1736, leaving the suc- 
cession to his fourth son who took the Kwohaou or title of Keentung. 

Keentung's reign produced many literary works, or rather com* 
pilations ; it is remarkable for some brilliant conquests in Eastern 
Tartary or Turkestan and Thibet The Soungarians having re- 
volted,-he entirely annihilated them as a nation, and peopled their 
country with the inhabitants of more peaceful districts and with 

On the south of Soungaria he extended his boundary beyond 
Cashgar, and rendered several of the neighbouring tribes tributary. 
In the fifty-eighth year of his reign, 1793-94, the first British eni-^ 
bassy to China under Lord Macartney, reached Peking, The war 
in Thibet. being brought to a happy cbnclusion about the same 
period, is supposed to have had a bad efiect on the interests of that 
embassy. Two years islfterward, Keentung, after a reign of sixty 
years, placed one of his sons on the throne, with the Kwohaou of 
Keaking, and shortly after died. Keaking ascended the throne 
in the thirty-sixth year of his age.' During his reign numerous 
insurrections occurred among the Chinese, and much discontent 
existed throughout the' empire. In the year 1805-06, the tenth 
of Keaking's reign, the Russian embassy under Count Golovkin, 
failed in obtaining an interview with the emperor, in consequence 
of refusing to submit to the Kotow, or ceremony of thrice kneeling 
and nine times bowing theiiead to the ground. In the year 1816, 
the twenty-first year of his reign, the British embassy, under Lord 
Amherst, was sent back from Peking^ in a similar maniwr. Du- 
rmg the latter years of his life, Keaking was extremely indolent 
and inattentive to government, being wholly devoted to the gratifi- 
cation of his vicious desires. He died in August, 1820, in tlie 
sixty-first year of his age, and the twenty-fifth of his reign. 

Taoukwang is the Kwohaou of the reigning emperor, who suc- 
ceeded to his father Keaking in the thirty-ninth year of his age. 
The chief occurrences which have taken place during his reign, 
are the revolts in Turkestan or little Bukharia. In figure, Taou* 

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146 BMBASST TO TBI X A 8 T, lOetofeer, 

kwang is said to be tall, thin> and of a dark complexion. He 
is of a generous disposition, diligent, attentiye to goTeimnent, 
and economical in his etpenditures. He has also avoided through 
life, the vices to which his younger brothers are addicted. 

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The Chinese haying a great horror of the word *^ death^^ they 
substitute in its place various periphrases, such as ''absent,** '* ram* 
Wing among the genii," " he being sick, occasioned a yacancy," i. e,, 
dead. The empress having died during the month of June, 1883, 
an imperial mandate was pubUshed, stating that *' her departure took 
place at four o'clock on the sixteenth of the mopth." His majesty 
says he was married to Tung-kea twenty six years previously; 
that she was the principal person in the middle karem^ that she 
was ever full of tenderness, filial piety, and was most obedient — 
but being attacked by an inveterate dysentery, she had taken the 
''long departure,** and that it caused him much pain at the loss of 
his "domestic helper" — ^his "interior assistant." His majesty set 
forth her great virtues, ever since she had been consort to heaven, 
(i. e. the emperor,) during the thirteen years that she had held the 
relative situation of earth to imperial heaven. An edict was ]5ub- 
lished at her death, ordering, that no officer should have his head 
shaved during one hundred days, nor have any marriage in his 
family during twenty-seven days, nor play on any musical instru- 
nient during one year ; and that the soldiers and people should not 
shave their heads for one month, nor engage in marriages during 
seven days, nor play on any musical instrument during one hun- 
dred days. 

Other marks of mourning, are the use of blue ink in the public 
offices in the place of red, and the removal of the red fringe which 
usually ornaments the Chinese caps. 

The following is the translation of the " Order of rites observed 
in receiving the imperial mandate, raising lamentation, and^ laying 

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146 IMBASST TO THE SA8T. [Novwber. 

aside the mourning clothes, on occasion of the gtand ceremony fol- 
lowing the demise of an empress.^ It was circulate in Canton 
as a supplement to the daily court circular. When the imperial 
mandate, written on yellow paper, comes down the river, an officer 
is immediately deputed to receiye and guard it at the imperial 
landing place. The master of ceremonies leads the officer, and 
directs him to receive the mandate with uplifted hands ; land and 
deposite it si^ely in the dragon dome, (a kind of .carriage borne by 
sixteen or thirty^two men,) and spread it oat in proper form. The 
civi] and miUtary officers in plain dresses, then kneel down in 
order, in the " Sunny-side paviUion,'* and so remain until the man- 
date has passed. When they have risen, the officer leads the pro- 
cession to the grand gate of the examination court ; the civil and 
military officers then first eater the '' moBt.public hall,'' and there 
kneel down, the civiUans on the east side, and the military on the 
west, until the dragon-dome has passed ; after which they riaip and 
wait till the dome has entered the hall of the constellation Kwei. 
In this hall an embroidered yellow curtain wd incense-taUe, must 
previously be prepared, and an officer be ^ent to receive, with rev- 
erence, the imperial mandate and safely lay it on the table. When 
this has been done all the officers enter ; upon, which the master of 
ceremonies cries out : " Range yourselves in order, perform the 
ceremony of thrice kneeling, and nine times knocking the head," 
He then requests to liave the mandate read aloud ; and the public 
official reader raises up the mandate to read it 

Master of Ceremonies. " Officers — ^all kneel — ^hear the proclama- 
tion zead-*^.and when the reading is concluded he x^ontinues) — 
rise— raise lamentation.'' The officers do so accordingly. After 
the lamentation, the reader places the mandate on the yellow table, 
and the master of ceremonies calls out : '' Deliver the imperial 
mandate," An officer is dien sent to the yellow table, who raises 
up the mandate, and delivers it to the governor, kneehng. The 
governor* haying received it, rises, and delivers it to Uie Poo- 
ching-sze, also kneeling; the latter officer in turn rises, and 
' deUvers it to his chief clerk, likewise kneeUng. The clerk rises 
and takes it to the hall of Tsze-wei, (in the Poo-ching-sze's office,) 
to be printed on yellow paper. 

Master of Ceremonies, " Officers — all put on mourning dress- 
es." The officers then retire ; when they have changed their 

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dresses, the master of ceremonies leads them back« and gives the 
Older : *' Arrange yourselves, thrice kneel * and nine times knock 
head — ^rise— raise lamentation — (after lamentationV'-eat.'' The of* 
ficers then go out to the hall of abstinence, whera they eat a little, 
the civil and military each taking their respective sides. The 
master of ceremonies then cries : ** Retire.** They retire to the 
** public place,** and in the evening reassemble, and perform the 
same ceremonies. At pight^ they sleep in tlie public place, 
separate from their faoulies. The same ceremonies are performed 
in the morning and evening of the two following days, after which 
the officers return to their ordinary duties. 

When the mandate has been copied, an officer is sent with it 
to the ball of the constellation Kwei, to place it on the yellow 
table, and aiiother is sent to bum incense and keep respectful 
charge of -it for twenty-seven days ; aCter which it is deliva^d to 
the Poo-ching-sze, and sent back to the board of rites^ On the 
twefity*-seveiith day, the officers assemble as before, and, after the 
same ceremonies oif lamentntion have been gone through, the master 
of ceremonies gives the order : *' Take off mourning-— put on plain 
clothes — remove the table of incense.** All then return home and 
the moinming ceremonies are at an end. 

The ix)pttlation contained in the eighteen provinces of the 
Chinese empire, accoiding to the census taken in the eighteenth 
year of the emperor Keealung, (corresponding to the year 1812,) 
amounted to three hundred and sixty-one millions, six hundred and 
ninety-eight thousand, eight hundred and seventy-nine souls. 
This statement is taken from a work called the ** Ta-tsing-hvniy- 
teto,** a. collection of statute^ of the ^'Ta-tsing dynasty,** publish- 
ed by government, in sixteen duodecimo volumes, for the use of 
its own officers ; it furnishes the data on which the government 
acts in levying taxes, &c. All the people are included excepting, 
^e believe, those who are employed in the civil and military ser- 
vice of the emperor. The mode of taking the census is very 
minute and particular; every province is divided into/009 and 
chows ; these are subdivided into ?ieens ; from the keen the sub* 
division ie canied dovni to the ked^ which consists of only ten fam- 
ilies. Ten keas make a paoUj or neighbourhood of one hundred 
families, which has^ a headnum or constable, whose duty it is to 
watch over the whole; and among other things, to keep a list of 

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150 EMBASSY TO THK BAST. (IfavenAen 

all the families and indiyiduals within his jurisdiction ; it is also 
the duty of this constable to report the names of those within his 
limits to the chief officer of the heen ; who reports to the chief 
officer foo; he again to the treasurer of the province ; who in his 
turn, annually, on the tenth moon, reports to the board of revenue 
at Peking. Such is the division and the order required by llie 
laws of the land. This syetem certainly enables the government 
to know, and to state accurately, the number ot individuals, hot 
only in every province, but in any given district of eadi or any 
one of the provinces. 

The Chinese empire having remained undisturbed by wars, or 
by internal commotions of much importance, for more than one 
hundred and twenty years, an accumulation has Vaken place on a 
comparatively small spot, of a moiety of aH the human beings 
which are now in existence. On a first view of thisMmroense, this 
incomprehensible number of living beings, we can scarcely believe 
the- evidence of our senses or conceive how it is pdlsible that sus- 
tenance can be procured for such an assemblage ; but When we have 
ascertained that the country is nearly destitute of ^ockt and herds, 
that the ground is almost exclusively appropriated to4he feeding and 
clothing of its inhabitants, that there are a less number of souls, by 
seventy to the square mile, than is found in the dutcby of Lucca, 
and but five more in the same space than in the Netherlands, 
which contains two hundred and seventy-fiYe, our wonder in a 
gttBX degree ceases, and we are compelled lo believe tliat the 
Chinese goTemment has published as accurate a statement of its 
population as any European government, or that of the United 
States : nor can we conceive what object the government can have 
in deceiving its own subjects, for the work is evidently not pub- 
lished for the use of curious inquirers abroad. It is also well 
known, tl^it the inhabitants live in the most frugal manner, that a 
bowl of rice with a few vegetables, or perhiips a little fish or fowl, 
which is very abiindant, is the entire provision of multitudes. 

Large portions of the country yield two crops annually, and 
those generally very abundant ; the irihabitants also obtain provis- 
ions from the Persian gulf to the bay of Bengal^ from Burmah, 
Siam and Cochin-China, and from every important island through- 
out the great Indian Archipelago. Every animal and vegetable 
substance is also an edible with one class or other of the people. 

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Large quantities of vegetable produce, which in any other country 
"Would be devoured by the flocks and herds, are here consumed by 
human beings. If we regard the produce of the soil, and the man- 
ner in which the people live, we have sttong presumptive evidence 
of a very numerous peculation. 

The Chinese of the present day are grossly superstitious ; they 
offer sacrifices to the manes of deceased relatives and friends, and 
emblems of money and clothes are consumed on the supposition 
that a substantial benefit yriH be transferred to the individual in the 
worid of spirits. 

. tin their habits they are most depraved and vicious ; gambling 
is universal and is carried to a most ruinous and criminal extent ; 
they use the most pernicious drugs as well* as the most intoxica- 
ting liquors to produce intoxication ; they are also gross gluttons; 
every thing that nms; walks, creeps, flies, or swims, in feet, every 
thing that will supply the place of food, whether of the sea« or the 
land, and articles niost disgusting to other people, are by them 
greedily devoured. The government has a code of laws, vrritten 
in blood ; the most horrid tortures are used to force confessions, 
and the judges ace noted for being grossly c<»rrupt ; the variety and 
uigenuity displayed in prdohging the tortures of miserable crimi- 
nals who are finally intended to be deprived of life, can only 
be conceived by a people refined in enielty, blood-thirsty, and 

Ancient Chinese books in speaking of their character, say; 
^' Their natural disposition is light and ostentatious, fond of talk, 
artfully apecious, with little truth or sincerity — ^the people of Can- 
ton are silly, light, weak in body and in mind, and without any 
ability to fight. The Chinese believe in sorcery and demons, and 
lay stress on a multiplicity of sacrifices^— they have tattooed bodies^ 
and short hair." Of these ancient features of their character, they 
still retain a. fondness of talk, are i^pecious^ crafty and insincere ; 
their timidity and weakness, also still remain ; they believe ia 
sorcery and demons, and lay stress on a multiplicity of sacrifices. 
Sii Thomas Herbert in his quaint language, says : ^ The Chinese 
are no qoanellers, albeit voluptuous^ costly in their sports, great 
gamesters, and in trading, too subtle for young merchants ; oft- 
times so wedded to deceiving, that after they have lost their whole 
estate, wife and children are staked ; yet in a little tinoe^ Jewlike, 

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158 SMBA88Y TO THS SAST. tKoYOritai^ 

by gleaniDg here and there, they are able to redeem their loss ; 
and if not at the promised day, wife and children are then soldia 
the markeU** The Chinese settlers throughout the Indian Archi- 
pdago, are described as beii^ at once enterprising, keen, hibori- 
ous, luxurious, sensual, debaucbedt and pusillanimous; they an 
generally engaged in trade, in which they are equally specuktire, 
expert, and judicious* Their superior inteUigsnce and acttrity 
have placed in their hands the management t)f the public revenue, 
in almost eyery country of the Axcfaipelago, whether ruled by 
natiye or European : the traffic of the Archipelago, with the sur- 
foimdrng foreign states,' is almost wholly conducted by them. 

There is scarcely a government gazette published at Peking ; 
nlmesl daily, placards are posted at the principal places about 
Canton and its suburbs, giving. accounts, of murder s^iuid insuriec* 
tions, robberiefliy shocking and unaatuial crimes of kidnapping, in- 
ikntioidesy suicides, and of all the beastly and unnatural crimes of 
which the world ever heai^ or read* l^e various modes of pun* 
ishmeat resorted to by the government, and the unequal distribu- 
tion of justice, are revolting lo humanity, and most disgusting and 
bathsome in the recital. I will relate oie^ case to show, that, in 
modenn times, the Chinese are not less^ refined in their cruelties, 
than when Ta-he, tha queen of Chow, amons many other horrible 
inventions, caused brasen rollers to be heated^ and then smeared 
vrith an unctuous matter, so that she might have the suprenaei 
fdeasure of seeing misenMe culprits, fruitlessly endeavouring to 
pass this burning bridge, and continually slipping into a tremen- 
dous fire, there to meet with a death .horrible in the eztireme. 
The case to which I have alluded, took place in the year iS13, 
when the emperor of China convicted a .eunuch of being concerned 
in a treasonable consiHracy. The victim had been a favourite ser- 
vant of the emperor's fath^, Ke^i-lung, who had confened upon 
him many favours. The poor vnretch was bound round with cords 
and canvass, to which was added a quantity of tallow and other 
combustible matter, so as to cpnvert him intp a gigantic €0ndlet 
and he was slowly consumed at his father's grave : the wretched 
being died in tortures the most excruciating that imagination can 

As our depii(rture from hence will be for the kingdoms <^ Cochin- 
China, and Siam, to effect suitable commercial treaties with thos^ 

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countries, and as similar court ceremonies are there used as at the 
court of Pekin, I herewith present a memoir, written by a most 
worthy and highly respectable clergyman, the Reyerend Doctor 
Jf ooison d. Canton, upon the sulject of court ceremonies, ob- 
serred from the lower to the higher dignitaries throughout the 
Chinese empire, from the simple joining of the hands iind raising 
them before the breast, to the climax of all that is debasing, the 
ceremony called the, SarC-kwei-kew-kom^ or ^'kneeling three dif-, 
ferent times, and at each time knocking the head thrice against the 
ground.'* — ** What are called ceremonies, sometimes affect materi- 
ally the idea of equality. They are not always mere forms, but 
revelations of a language, as intelligible as Words.^ Solhe ceremo- 
nies are perfectly indifferent, as whether the form of salutation be 
taking off the. hat and bowing the head, or keeping it on and bow« 
ing it low, with the hands folded below the breast ; these, the one 
English, and the. other Chinese, are equally good. There is, how- 
eyer, a difference of submission and deyotedness, expressed by 
* different postures of the- body ; and some nations feel an almost 
instinctiye reluctance to the stronger expression of submission. 
Standing and bending the head, for instance, are less than kneeling 
on one knee, that is less so than kneeling on both knees ; and the 
latter posture less humiliating than kneeling on two knees, and 
putting the hands and forehead to tlie ground ; doing this once, 
is, in (he apprehension of the Chinese, less than doing it three, six^ 
or nine times. 

"Waiving the question, whether it be proper for one human being 
to use such strong expressions of submission to another or not ; 
when any, even the strongest of these forms are reciprocal, they 
do not destroy the idea of equality, or of mutual independence ; if 
they are not reciprocally performed, the last of the forms expresses 
in die stroiigest manner, the submis^on and homage of one person 
or state to another ; and, iii this light, the Tartar family, now on 
the throne of China, consider the ceremony called San-kwei-kew^ 
koWf thrice kneeling, and nine times beating the head against the 
ground. Those nations of Europe who consider themselves tribu* 
tary and yielding homage to China, should perform the Tartat 
ceremony ; those who do not so consider themselves, should not 
perform it. The English ambassador. Macartney, appears to have 
understood cbirectly the meaning of the ceremony, and proposed 


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^154 EMBASSY TO THE EAftT. (NoTvAeib 

the only altematiye which could enable hiui to perform it; Tiz«» a 
Chinese of equal rank performing it to the king of England's 

'' Perhaps a promise from the Chinese courts that should an am- 
bassador ever go from thence to England, he would perform it in 
the king's presence, might have enabled him to^o it. These re- 
marks will probably convince the reader that the English govern 
ment acts as every civilized government ought to act, when she 
endeavours to cultivate a good understanding, and liberal inter- 
course with China, while, using those endeavours, she never con- 
templates yielding homage, and wisely refuses to perform by her 
ambassador, that ceremony which is the expression of homage. 

'^The lowest fonn by which respect is shown in China at this 
day, is kung-^how, that is, joining the hands aiid raising them 
before the breast. The next is tsa-ythj that is, bowing low with 
the hands joined. The third is ta-tseen^ bending the knee as if 
about to kneel.' The fourth is fciwci, to kneel. The fifth is ko- 
tow, kneeling and striking the head against the ground. The 
sixth, sart'kowy striking the head three times against the earth 
before rising from the knees. The seventh, ZuA-A;ot£?, that is, 
kneeling and striking the forehead three times-; rising on the feet, 
kneeling down again, and striking the head, again, three times on 
the earth. The climax is closed by the san-kwei-kew^kow^ kneel- 
ing three different times, and at each time knocking the head thrice 
against the ground. Some of the gods of China are entitled only 
to the san-'kow ; others to the luh^ow ; the teen (heaven) and the 
emperor, are worshipped with the san-Au;ei-iet£>-faw(;." 

Beggars are lice'nsed by the government, confined within par- 
ticular districts, and are under the control of certain officers. If 
any are found wandering beyond their designated liibits, they are 
liable to be punished by the officer who has charge over them ; in 
addition to this, they seldom escape being severely beaten by 
the mendicants whose district they invade. They are all regis- 
tered, and receive a small monthly allowance of rice^ wjiich, to- 
gether with the alms they obtain, barely sufi^ces to keep them from 
starving. Great numbers die in the streets, in the winter, from 
cold and want of food, and are buried at the public expense. A 
beggar is seldom forcibly driven away from a door; for, should 
that occur, a complaint would be instantly made to the proper offir 

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mU BEGGARS. 155 

cer, and the offender would be punished, or be squeezedf as the 
Chinese term it, or mulct in a heavy fine. On the 28th Noyember, 
1882, public notice was given, for tJie beggars of a certain district, 
to assemble in front of the foreign factories, "upon important meas- 
ures, touching the interests of the fraternity." It was stated, that 
certain impostors, from other districts, had beeii guilty of the great 
crime of begging within their limits ; and it was therefore ^neces- 
sary that the name of each person^ should be ascertained, that he 
might be brought before the proper officer for punishment, and be 
drireir into his own proper district. Great numbers assembled, 
toward sunset, after the regular begging hours were over. I had 
the curiosity to visit this horrible grpup of unfortunates for a few 
moments, and the recollection of the scene ean never be effaced 
from my memory. The blind, halt, and lame, were there, of all 
ages and of both sexes ; a more motley group, or a more disgusting 
spectacle, was never before seen. They were squalid and ragged, 
filthy, and covered with vermin. . Many a blind Bartelmy, and 
many a Lazarus, were lying there, literally cohered with. sores. I 
returned'home, sincerely thanking God that I was not thus wretched, 
and that I stood in no need of a temporal physician to cure me of 
any loathsome disease. . - ' ^ 

Blindness is a very common misfortune in China ; it is said to 
be caused generally by depriving the head of almost its entire 
natm-al covering, by being closely shaven, and using no effectual 
guard to protect it from the extremes of the weather : none wear 
turban?, and but few bats or umbrellas.; slight paper fans being in 
general use. We were informed, that many a child was made 
blind by. the use of caustic, applied by its parents, or by those who 
purchased it, for the^ purpose of exciting compassion, in order to 
increase their gains in the practice of soliciting alms. There are 
few sights so ridiculously amusing, in the suburbs pf Canton, as 
thefte untiring vagabonds: they are an excessive annoyance to 
shop-keepers : a stranger cannot walk without seeing a number of 
them assembled in the shop of some obstinate fellow, who appa- 
rently seems determined to tire them out, 

< I have frequently seen from three to six assembled, some sitting 
in the doorway, somis lying dovm, and others standing at the coun- 
ter, each of them beating most violently on two stout pieces of 
jbamboo, and making a most insufferable noise. 

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156 BMBASBT TO THS EAST. mtm t ^m. 

Occasionally, a wholo family of ** singing beggars" are mel 
with, making the most borriUe discord, and singing at the very 
top of their voices ; the rough music from maiT0i7v-bone8> cleayers, 
and frying-'pans, is rastly preferable to it. Agais^ odiers are seen, 
who are either more rich^ or possess greater privileges of annoy- 
ance, being allowed to cairy all sor%% of musical instruments, viz. : 
a drum, secured to the waist ; a small gong, suspended firoqn the 
neck ; and a trumpet, in the mouth. Now and then, a sturdy, 
self-willed shopman, would pay no attention to the vile pest : forth- 
with a loud thump was given on the drum, then a thundering noise 
from the gong, followed by a horrible blast from the trumpet. It 
would provoke the risibles of a saint, to see die gravity of coun* 
tenance exhibited by both parties. The shopman, attending to his 
goods, apparently unconscious of the presence of the other, while 
the beggar is pursuing his vocation as though his very existence de- 
pended upon his making such a noise, as would awake the seven 
sleepers of Christendom. As no customer is willing to enter a shop 
where he cannot be heard, the master is at length, most unwillingly^ 
compelled to give him one cash, (about the eight-hundredth part 
of a dollar ;) if this should not be perfect in every respect, it is 
returned) and a good one absolutely demanded^ or a repetition of 
all that is horrible in discord, and all that is unbearable in vile 
sounds ia repeated. So it proceeds from early dawn to setting-sxm : 
as fast as one beggar-customer is gone, another and another make 
their appearance ; but the donor can expel them if they call oft^n^ 
tfkan once a day. • 

Near the entrance of Old China-street, between Minqua^s hong^ 
floid the Ajnerican hong of Messrs. Oliphant 8c Co., called, "Kwan 
yueng hang,** or, " The factory of wide fountains," (where I had 
the pleasure of spending a couple of months,) there is the mart for 
the sal6 of cats and dogs. The venders regularly meet, daily, from 
Ae to three, {high-change hours being about two.) Here may be 
seeiii arranged along the pavement in regular order, baskets and 
cages of these animals, the latter being used for poor puss only, 
who seemed always to be out of place. 

Being within a half dozen steps of the venders, I overlooked 
them from the balcony, and saw their. daily operations; and, as 
trifling as it may seem to others, I acknowledge that I was much 
amused with the exanmuUions that the poor animals underwent* 

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mm CAT AND Doa MAKKIT. 157 

Poor puss, m a saQor would say, was *^ thoroaghly orerkiiiled, 
from due to ear'nng," to see if she was sound in health ; if she 
had a handsome, smooth, glossy coat, suitable for ornamenting 
some garment; if she was free from *' cow-Ucks," or the hair 
growing the wrong way ; if her Umbs were sound, and suitable 
for making pomy whistles^ and other small articles; and if she was 
|dump, weU-falted, fit for culinary purposes, and not blown out by 
injecting air into the body : a common Chinese trick, and which is 
not tolerated by fair, grave merchants. Young she^cats were pre- 
ferred for breeders, and commanded double the price of tom-cats. 
The puppies (for there were but few full grown dogs offered for 
sale) were Ukewise thoroughly examined, to ascertain if their out- 
ward garment was in good condition — if they were fat, sleek, free 
from a nmsky or strong smell, and fit to make a rich press-soup, 
of which the Chinese are extraragahtly fond ; if their limbs were 
sound and not distorted, and if they were the true Chinese breed 
of prick-eared curs, haring black palates and black tongues, with 
a well-curred feathery tail. The sluts brought generally, I found, 
more than double the price of the males. The pedigree (being an 
important matter always in monarcliicid goremments) was also par« 
ticularly inquired into. 

It may perhaps, by some, foe thought that I have been unneces- 
sarily particular in making the above statements, in reference to an 
insignificant portion of the brute creation ; but, as I was anxious 
to give every particular in reference to the internal, as well as ex- 
ternal ccmunerce of China, the reader will perhaps excuse the de- 
tail given above. 

I cannot take my leave of the canine species, without lekting 
a provoking loss which befel Dr. M. B-r-^s, of Philadelphia, du- 
ring my stay in China. The gentleman had purchased, at a high 
price, a fine pup, on Change, for the purpose of carrying it to the 
United States. The dog being rather troublesome in runnii^ about 
the house, he told a Chinese servant, who spoke English, to tie 
him up. The doctor went out, as usual^ in search oC curiosities, 
such as rare birds, &c., which he skinned and prepared. On his 
return, he inquired of the servant if he had tied up the dog and 
secured him. " Yez," said he, " hab done, hab done.** Well^ 
said the doctor, where is he ? ** Up loom, up loom," meaning up 
in the doctor's rooixi^; for a China-man cannot pronouQce the letter 

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158 SMBAS8T TO THS BA8T« DfotmAM^ 

r. He immediately ushered the way up stairs, threw open the 
chamber-door suddenly, and exhibited the dog tied up, but strangled, 
having hung him ! " Can do 1 can do ?" said he, with an air per- 
fectly unconscious of having done wrcmg. " Can do ?* said the 
doctor, echoing back his words in a tone which indicated any thing 
rather than satisfaction, ** I wish you were there tied up in his stead." 

In front of the foreign factories, there are assembled regularly, 
every morning, at an early hour, thjB " Barbers,'^ with their t^asins 
and snug seats, for the use of their customers. They wield a very 
short, clumsy razor, having a round wooden handle, without a par- 
ticle of superfluous wood about it: the blade is two and a. half 
inches long, one and a half indies broad at the end, and tapering 
to less than half an inch toward theliandle ; it is three eighths of 
an inch in thickness, for about an inch and a half of its length ; the 
handle is of wood, round, and three eighths of an inch in diameter, 
and the length of the instrument is six inches.. 

Strict economy is observed in shaving ; water only being used 
to soften the hair. The head is shaved, leaving onljr a long lock, 
which is plaited or braided, and if the tail fails to reach the heels, 
it is eked out with black riband. Generally speaking, all the hair 
is shaved from the face, nose, and the eye-lids ; for a China-maH 
will always have the full worth of his money, although he pays but 
three or four cash (equal to about a half cent) to the operator ; the 
eyebrows are then adjusted, and the hair eradicated from the ears 
and nostrils vrith tweezers ; the nail and corn cutter is then resorted 
to, who repairs and polishes >the nails of the hands and feet : the 
China-man is in prime order— a small scuU^ap, or pahn-leaf 
pointed hat, is then put on, or he protects his head with an ordi- 
nary looking paper fan, having on it some moral s^entences. At 
ten and at four he goes to his dark hole, where he exercises his 
" chop-sticks" with great dexterity, regaling himself with rice and 
vegetables, deluged with the fat oif pork;, if he can obtain it. A 
draught of water, and a dram of shewhing, (arrack,) a pipe of to- 
bacco, and a piece of areca-nut, place him at once among the 
celestials ; but if to these, a pipe or two of refined opium be added, 
not that exquisite of all pleasures, in the opinion of the country 
bumpkin, of swinging on a gate all day, and eating bountifully of 
mush and molasses, can bear any comparison with this care- 
killing and unparalleled pleasure. 

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Mt) 8LATERT. 159 

Of all uncouth figures, that strut their little hour upon the stage 
of life» a China^^maQ is surely the most grotesque animal. A loose 
ahirt for his outer and principal garment — his bagging breeks, 
added to his white slouching stockings, made of cotton doth, filled 
with wrinkles — ^his black cloth slippers, with a white sole half an 
inch thick— his shayed head, with his long plaited cue, streaming 
out when he runs, hke a shy)'s pennant in a brisk breeze — ^his 
elongated and stupid eyes ; a fan in one hand, and a long wodden 
pipe in the other — his enormous spectacles, witliout bows, astride 
on the tip of his nose, and his mouth upon the full gape, standing 
for hours in front of the factory of " wide fountains," looking at 
the fan-kweis, (the foreign white devils J present him. as the most 
tDUiprepossessing figure ever beheld — the most awkward looking 
biped in the universe. ^ 

Chang-ling, the great hero of Cashgar, has memorialized his 
majesty, and informed him* that, during the late attack of the rebels 
on that city, they endeavored, to inundate it by cutting a channel 
and entering the course of the adjoining river; but the Lung-shin, 
(Dragon-gCMd,) who presides over rivers and seas, prevented tbe 
design from being effected. For this " divine manifestation^ in 
favour of the imperial cause, the emperor has ordered a new title 
to be givea to the god, a new temple to be built, and a new tablet 
to adorn it. Slavery, in China, presents its worst features ; tlie 
children of the slaves are > born slaves ; and the children of free 
masters enjoy their rights over them throughout all generationsi 
There have been cases in which the masters have become poor, 
and allowed their slaves to go and provide for themselves; they 
have become rich, but being again foimd by their masters, the 
latter have seized all the property. There are slaves of another 
class, who are not bought outright, but with the condition that they 
may be redeei^ied. Good masters admit the claim, when made 
agreeably to contract ; but bad ones use every eipedient to pre- 
Tent the claim of redemption. 

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ciaun or caxttoic amp locAo-iarraoBoiiOcwsAii ▲▼SRAQHH«cPARiYnui mom 



Thi coast of China being similarly situated to that of the 
United States, haring a vast continent stretching from the south 
and northwest to the northeast, possesses a climate nearly of the 
same character and temperature. From the gulf of Tung-hing to 
the vicinity of Canton, it may well be c<>mpared to the coast 
stretching from the Mississippi to North Carolina, and the coast 
extendmg from Canton to -diat ci Tartary, to the states from 
North Carolina to Maine. 

The climate of Peking is salubrious, and like that o[ the middle 
and northern states of the union. The water is frozen from De« 
cember until March. Violent storms occur in. the spring; the 
heat in summer is great, and the autumnal months of September, 
October and November are the most pleasant part of iJie year. 
But my principal object ift to delineate the climate of Canton and 
Macao, which lie between the, latitudes of twenty-two and twen- 
ty-three north; the statement b copied from the Canton Regis- 
ter. I have added thereto several tables of nbeteorological aver- 
ages. Cknton is regarded by the Chinese, as one of the most 
unhealthy portions of their country, yet it is a more healthy dimate 
than that of most other phioes» situated in the san^ degree of 

The weather during the month of January, is dfy, cold, and 
bracing, di£krin|f but little, if at all, from the two preceding months^ 
November and December. The wind blows generally from the 
north, occasionally inclining to northeast or northwest. Any change 
to the south, causes ccnsideraUe variation in the temperature of 
the atmosphere. 

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162 SMBA88T TO THE EAST. iMcwaimt, 

Duriug the month of February the thermometer continues low; 
but the dry, bracing cold of the three preceding months is chan- 
ged for a damp and chilly atmosphere : the number of fine days is 
much diminifilhedy and cloudy or foggy weather of more frequent 
recurrence in February and March than in any other months. At 
Macaoy the fog is often so dense as to render objects invisible at a 
few yards' distance. 

The weather in the month of Marchy as stated above, is damp 
^^ f^ggy 9 ^ut the temperature of the atmosphere becomes con- 
siderably warmer. To preserve articles from damp, it is requi- 
site to continue the use of fires and closed rooms, which the heat 
of the atmosphere rende^ very unpleasant. From this month 
the thermometer rises until July and August, when the beat is at 
its maximum. 

The thick fogs which begin to disappear towards the close of 
Marchf are, in April, seldom if ever seen. The atmosphere, how- 
ever, continues damp, and rainy days are not Unfrequent ,* the ther- 
mometer at the samef time, gradually rises, and the hearer approach 
of the sun, renders its heat more perceptible. ' In this, and the fol- 
lowing summer months, southeasterly winds generally prevail. 

In the month of JIf ay, summer is fully set in, and the heat, par- 
ticularly in Canton^ is often oppressive ; the more so from the 
closeness of the atmosphei^, the winds being usually fight .and va- 
riable. This is the most rainy month in the year, averaging fifteen 
days and a* half of heavy rain ; cloudy days, without rain, are, 
however, of unfrequent occurrence ; and one half of the month 
averages fine sunny weather. 

June is also a very wet month, yet, taking the aggregate, thenunn 
ber of rainy days is less than in the other summer months. The 
thermometer in this month -rises several degreiBs higher than in 
May, and falls but little at night. It is this latter circumstance 
chiefly, which occasions the exhaustion often felt in this country 
from the heat of summer. 

The month of July is the hottest in th^ year, the thermometer 
reaching eighty-eight in the shade, at noon, both at Canton and 
Macao. This month is also subject to frequent heavy showers 
of rain, and, like the month of August, to storms of thunder and 
lightning. The winds blow almost unintermittingly from southeast 
or south. 

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Wi] CLIMATB. 163 

In the month of August the heat isgeneraOy as oppresstye as in 
July, and often more so, although the thermometer usually stands 
lower. Towards the close of the month, the summer begins to 
break up, the wind occasionally veering from southeast, to north 
and northwest. Typhoons seldom occur earlier than this month or 
later than the end of September. 

In September the monsoon is generally broken up, and norther- 
ly winds begin ta blow, but with little alleviation of heat. This 
is the period most exposed to the description of hurricanes called 
typhoons, die range of which extends southward, over about one 
half of the Chinese sea, but not far northward; they are most 
severe in the gulf of Tonquin. 

Northerly winds prevail throughout the month of October^ occa- 
sionally veering to northeast or northwest ; but the temperature of 
the atmosphere is neither so cold nor dry* as in the following months, 
nor does the northerly wind blow so constantly, a few days of 
southerly wind frequendy intervening. The winter usually sets in 
with three or four days of light drizzling rain. 

Ncvember^ and the following months, are the most pleasant in 
the year, at least to the feelings of person^ from more northern 
climes. Though the thermometer is not often below forty, and 
seldom so low as thirty, die cold of the Chinese wmter is often 
▼ery severe. Jce often forms about one eighth of an^inch thick ; 
bnt this is usually in December or January. 

The nHHiths of December and January are remarkably firee 
iircxn rain ; the average fall, in each m<Hith, bcfing under one inch ; 
and the average number of rainy days beilig only three and a half. 
On the whole, the climate of Canton, but more especially of Macao» 
may be considered superior to that of most other places situated 
between the tropics. 

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Tablea of obaerrationa on the thermometer and baxometer for the year 1881. The averages at 
Canton are taken from the Canton Refiater. The areragea at Macao^ from a priTate diarv, kept 
bjMr. Blettemaa. 


Table IL 


Table IT. 


Thermometer at 

Barometer at 

Barometer al 






ill 1 


i 1 


64 60 74 


62 66 72 



30.60 30.00 


to.60 30.06 


67 49 78 


60 60 71 



30.60 89.60 


3a40 89.87 


78 60 82 


68 69 77 



80.60 89.96 


30.48 3aQ6 


77 68 86 

78 73 86 


78 76 €8 



80.26 89.86 


8a27 88Jt 


77 78 86 



30.10 89.80 


30.06 29.86 


86 79 90 


88 84 88 



30.00 89.76 


8&00 88.86 


88 81 94 


84 86 92 



30.00 29.60 


30.01 28.80 


86 78 90 


88 86 90 



3aQ0 89.66 


30.08 89.88 


88 76 86 


81 84 88 



30.10 89.70 


30.06 89.36 


77 69 86 


76 78 86 



80.20 89.S0 


80.18 88.46 


67 67 80 


66 66 80 



30.66 29.96 


30.36 29.96 


02 68 20 


68 66 70 



30J6 30.16 


80JI 80l18 

The aTorage of rahi la the mean of ita fcll at 
The nomber of rriny daya ai 
from the Canton Beglator. 

It Macaa during alzteen jeara, ftizniahed bj Mr. Beale. 
of ifloA^ ai^tha niean of fbv jeara at OiMaii, taktta 

Btnf^nk at 


Rota at 


nwu of foor TMn. 



HI llllf 





76 96 46 
88 96 78 
78 97 80 
81 96 80 
81 96 67 
80 96 70 
88 96 70 
84 97 70 
84 96 60 
78 96 80 
61 96 80 
71 90 80 


10.9ft 10 

N. NB. B. BB. & BW.W.WW. 

i{ 1 ii 21 8 1 Oft r 

S* 8 3* 18 1ft ^ S 

After remaining nearly two months at Canton, I took passage in 
a fine cutter, under Englislt colours, for Macao, via Linting, and 
anchored in about twenty-four hours, within half a mile of the land- 
ing, at Pria Grande. Immediately on our nearing the harbour, a 
race took place among the amphibious damsels that inhabit the 
numerous sampans, tanka or egg-boats, which always lie within a 
short distance of the shore. Whole families inhabit them, and they a 
are Extremely encumbered with children, and the yarious articles 
used by the family, llieir length is from twelre to eighteen feet, 
and the breadth is about one half the length. They hare o?al| 

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n»1 MACAO. > 165 

sliding roofs, made of bamboo or mats, in two or three sections, 
which are extended occasionally the whole length of the boat. 
The -occupants are extremely poor and miserable; they wear 
slight dresses, consisting of a long frock and trousers, (^ tan- 
coloured cotton. Except when heavy gales prevail, they rarely 
sleep on shore. ' 

The town of Macao presents a pretty appearance from the road- 
stead. A spadotts semi-circular bay is encompassed with hills, 
crowned with forts, convents, churches, and private buildUigs : the 
houses being kept well whitewashed, it gives the town quite a 
neat appearance. The streets are generally narrow, but they are 
exceedingly so through the Chinese bazar, &c., not exceeding, 
perhaps, six or eight feet Most of the houses are built in the Por- 
tuguese style ; but the Chinese houses lUre, with very few except 
tioBs, dark, filthy, and uncomfortable. Macao is the summer 
residence of the foreign merchants of Canton ; and it is reputed to 
be one of the most immoral places in the world. It is a rocky 
peninsula, abY>ut eight English miles in circumference ; its greatest 
length is about three, and its breadth less than one mile. It forms 
part of the island of Heong-shan-nne, and was renowned, long 
before the Portuguese were settled there, for its safe and commo- 
dious inner harbour, and a temple consecrated to Ama. This settle- 
ment was formerly called Amangas,, that is, the port of Ama ; and 
fint took die name of A-macao; but, i^ time, the first letter was 
suppressed, and the place has ever since been called Macao by the 
Portuguese, and Moon by the Chinese* The Portuguese had 
temporary abodes at this place, for about twenty years, by giving 
bribes to the authorities to erect hutSj imder the false pretext of 
drying damaged goods, until they were expelled by mal-conduct, in 
1558, from Ningpa and Chinchew, when they induced the local 
officers of Macao, by their old system of bribery, to erect per- 
manent dwellings. 

The population from that time, rsipidly increased ; a temporary 
government was established, and a great influx of priests followed. 
In the year 1573, the wall actors the isthmus was erected by the 
-.Chinese government, to prevent i)\Q kidnapping of children^ as 
well as the sale of them by their virretched parents to over-zealous 
missionaries, who adopted every means, however infamous, to 
make converts to their religion, .and to prevent the ingress of the 

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166 BMBA8ST TO THB B A 8 T; Wu tmk m 

Chinese ; but it has been long diforegarded by did latter. The 
wall ia now in a ruinous state near the bay, being partly broken 
down by the encroachment of the sea ; but still no foreigners are 
aUowed to cross it ; and all prorisions must come to the gafer 
where a market is still held at daybreak. 

It was supposed by the world, that Pcntugal exercised sove- 
reign authority over Macao, till 1802, when a British military de- 
tachment arrived and offered to defend it, in conjunction with the 
Portuguese, against an apprehended attack firom the French; 
knowing if they obtained possession of it, the British commerce 
with Canton would be destroyed : the Portuguese gOYemor coald 
not accept of their assistance, because the Chinese autfaoritiea 
would not permit it. In 1808, although a British force obtained 
possession of three forts, by the connivance of the Macao gorem- 
ment, the Chinese authorities ordered them to quit their tenitoriea, 
or they would put a stop to the British trade at Canton, and driye 
die Portuguese firom Macao, for suffering foreign troc^ to land 
there, without first obtaining permission of the emperor. Macao, 
therefore, is still port of the Chinese empire. Thia is acknow- 
ledged by the Portuguese, who still pay an annual ground-rent, 
which has raried at different times, but is now limited to fiye hun- 
dred taels. The Portuguese and Chinese are both goYemed by 
their respective laws and officers ; but in case of collision between 
two persons of the different nations, the Chinese always dictate to 
the former in what way the affair must be settled. For fifty or 
sixty years, the Portuguese enjoyed the exclusive trade to China 
and Japan. In 1717, and again in 1732, the Chinese government 
offered to make Macao the emporium for all foreign trade, and to 
receive all duties on imports ; but, by a strange in&tuation, the 
Portuguese government refused, and its decline is dated £tx>m that 
period. In 1686, when all vessels of the Chinese empire were 
prohibited firom navigating the southern sea, their shipping and 
commerce declined rapidly, till, in 1704, only two ships remained, 
which could neither be manned nor fitted out. This prohibition 
was, some time after, annulled. ^The vessels that belonged to the 
port in 1832, consisted of only fifteen, (being ten less than is 
allowed by the Chinese government;) their united tonnage being 
four thousand five hundred and sixty-nine tons. In 1833, the 
munber had diminished to « twelve. These vessels are principally 

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chartered for foreign ports by Chinese adventurenr, the owners 
generally being destitute of means to load them. The whole in^ 
come from the customs^in 1830, was only sixty-nine thousand one 
hundred and thirty-eight taels ; and of this sum, thirty thousand 
one hundred and thirty-two taels were paid on one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-three and a hc^lf chests of opium. The dis- 
bursements weie : to die military, twenty-nine thousand six hun- 
dred and twenty-two; civil servants, twenty-four thousand four 
hundred and seventy; and to the church establishn^ent, eight 
thousand seven hundred and thirty. The extraordinary expenses^ 
were forty-six thousand six hundred and twenty-nine, making a 
deficiency of about forty thousand eight hundred taels, which must 
be supphed from Goa. The population of Macao was estimated, 
in 1830, at four thousand six hundred and twenty-eight, viz. : 
one thousand two hundred and two white men ; two thousand one 
hundred and forty-nine white women ; three hundred and fif^ male 
fllares; seven hundred and seventy-nine female slaves ; and thirty- 
nine men, and one hundred and eighteen women, of different castes, 
who are all Roman Catholics. The Chinese population is esti- 
maled at thirty thousand. The European Portiiguese consist ot 
only sixty-two persons. 

Macao is walled on one side, and has six forts ; twelve churches, 
including the church and cj^lege otSt. Joseph ; five small chapels, 
and one Budhist temple : without die walls are three additional 
temples. There is one school, where children are tajight to read 
and write correct Portuguese, (for this language, as spoken at 
Macao^ is exceedingly corrupt ;) and another, where the Portuguese 
and Latin grammar are taught. These are supported by royal 
bounty. There are an English opthalmic hospital, and a small 

I visited a Budhist temple^ facing the inner harbour, situated in 
the midst of a number of large rocks, trees being seen <grovntig but 
of their crevices. It was really composed of a number of small 
temples, seated on terraces, communicating with each other by 
means of steps cut out 'of the rock. All the buildings, wall, and 
steps, leading to it, are of hewn granite, very neatly vrrought, and 
having ornamental work, finished in a masterly manner. This 
temple is a place of great resort for mariners; and near the land- 
ing are various offerings of anchors, ropes, and spars. The devo* 

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168 XMB188T TO THB SJL8T. IDeeealwr, 

tees were constantly passing in and ont from the temple to the 
priests^ houses, seated in a court. There were seveial priests in 
attendance, and others were lounging about the altars, with some 
old women^ who appeared to be attached to the premises. This 
temple is called ** Neang-ma^io/' a temple of the ** Queen of 
heaven.'' The origin of it is said to be this : A munber of Fokein 
fishermen were about sailing from that profbice, when a lady made 
her appearance^ and told them they would all be lost in a storm, 
unless they deferred it for some days. They paid no heed to her 
advice, (excepting the crew of oile boat,) and they were ail lost in 
a " ta-frmg-pao," or ** great tempest." The lady embarked od 
board the remainiDg boat, when the storm had sufaeidedy uid safely 
landed near to the spot "v^here the temple sow is ; from that mo- 
ment she was never seen again. She is esteemed as holy, and is 
invoked as the protectress of all Chinese mariners. 

I here witnessed a piece of superstition, which reminded me of 
drawing k>ts, or cards, or opening the Bible in search of a cheering 
text of ScripUire, which is practised by superstitious people, in 
some Christian countries, for good luck. It was this : Many Chi- 
nese^ of both sexes, drew from a box on an altar, after considerable 
hesitation, a bamboo slip, havii^ Chinese characters marked on 
the ,end ; which, I was informed, was done by every one before 
they undertook any great enterprise, and often in the minor affairs 
of life. They were asking a sign from the gods ; their request 
was to be answered favourably or not, by carrying the mark on the 
stick to the priest, and ascertaining what the corresponding mark 
decided. I went down near- to the priest's house, and saw many 
return with cheerful countenances, and a lij^t,. elastic step, having 
received a favourable decision; while others walked out very 
slowly and despondingly, as though good fortune and themselves 
had for ever parted company. The view of the inner harbour, from 
this spot, and the beautiful garden, in which is found the celebrated 
cave, as it ia called, of Camoens, (which, by the by, is no cave, but 
a narrow passage between two very large masses of rock ; and on 
their apex, is placed, a summer-house,) is highly picturesque. 
The garden is extensive, and laid out in a picturesque style ; most 
of the walks are chunamed, and it is suffering by neglect. The 
ascent to the higher grounds is steep : but I was amply repaid by 
the fine scenery which it disclosed. I had the pleasure of seeing 

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lOL] \glRD8. 169 

the celebrated aviary oi Mr. Beale. There, for the first time, I 
saw one of the several species of the bird of Paradise ; also the 
silver pheasant, mandarin, ducks, and a great variety of the rarest 
birds, all in a most thriving condition, and mider the immediate 
superintendence of their worthy owner. 

Mr. John R. Mcnrrison, son of the Rev. Dr. Morrison, here joined 
me, for the purpose of acting in the capacity of Chinese translator, 
interpreter, and private secretary, on the mission to Cochin-China 
and Siam, and to return to China from Sing^x>re« 


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After. enduriAg several days of rainy and squally weather, we 
weighed anchor, and proceeded towards Turan bay, on the north- 
em coast of Cochin-China, being the nearest and best point to 
hold communication with the capital, called Hu^, from which it is 
distant about fifty miles ; it being impossible to anchor off the bar 
of Hu^. duriog the northeast monsoea. The weather during the 
passage, with the exception of one day, was misty or rainy ; and on 
the firsft day of January, 1833, we found ourselves off the bay of 
Turan : but the weather was very thick, with a heavy sea running, 
and the wind i^hifting nearly every half hour,, from northwest to 

Finding it unsafe to run nearer to tlie land, we endeavoured to 
hold our station, as well as we could, till the weather cleared up 
sufficiently to see our way in ; but it continued nearly the same 
till the fifth, the wind remaining most of the time in the northwest 
quarter : daily we lost ground^ by contrary winds, and a strong 
current setting to the southward and eastward along the coast. The 
very mountainous land about the bay, was first lost sight of;' in 
two or three days following, the group of islands called Champella, 
or Cham Callao ; afterward the island of False Champella. Find- 
ing ourselves at length drifted down to Pulo Cambir, and losing 
ground on every tack, we were under the unpleasant necessity of 
bearing away for the oaost suitable, and nearest harbour, which wm 
done at sunset on the fifth, calculating the distance to the united 
harbours of Shundai, Vung-chao, and Vung-lam, (represented by 
Horsburg to be yery safe, and having sufficient depth of water,) at 

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172 BMBA88T TO THE EAST. [Jamwy. 

one hundred and twenty mile&. The wind, during most of the night, 
was light from the northeast ; and we had run, by the log accu- 
rately, kept, at seven the next morning, a distance not exceeding 
seventy to seventy-five miles. At daybreak, the ship^s head was 
directed towards the coast, but not seeing any very conspicuous 
landmarks, we kept along shore till eight ; having, within an hour, 
passed an island, and a group of small jagged rocks, standing so 
near the coast that we at first supposed the island to be part of the 
main land ; it was, however, Pulo Cambir, lying to the north of 
our port of destination. Seeing, to the southward of us, a large 
fleet bf fishing boats ; a very high conical mountain, which we sup- 
posed must be mount Epervier ; and the land, extending far to the 
eastward, which we were satisfied must be cape Averella, or Pa- 
goda cape ; and, at the same time, discovering the island of Maignia, 
a short distance to the southward of the harbour, we stood boldly 
in, and, at twelve, came to anchor, in six and a half fathoms water, 
in the fine harbour o[ Vung-lam ; the village of that name, bearing 
to the southwest, distant a mile and a half, and within three quar- 
ters of a mile of a small, uninhabited, and unnamed island, bearing 
south, called, by us, Peacock island. The beautifiil harbour of 
Yung-chao, being open to our view, in the northeast, two miles 
distant; and the harbour, or roadstead, of Shundai, with Nest 
island, bearing east, about the same distance. It will be seen, by 
the distance per log, that we were currented along, in fifteen hours, 
fifty miles ; nearly equal to three and a half miles per hour. 

To the southward of Cambir, lies a sand-beach, extending up a 
rising ground, which, together with a more extensive plot near the 
southern entrance, but to the southward of the island of Maignia, 
assist, as a leading mark, in running in. 

This is, truly, one of the finest harbours in the -world, and free 
from all obstructions, save a rock, called the buoy rock, within one 
and a half miles of our anchorage, the top of which is above 

The country around is apparently well cultivated, being laid out 
in small patches, resembling gardener. It is beautifully picturesque 
and bold, frequently running into hills, from one to fifteen hundred 
feet high ; the verdure of which extends, in many places, to the 
water's edge. The hand of the workman has here been busy on 
every spot susceptible of cultivation. Villages were seen among 

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the palm-trees, near tlie sandy beaches, and on the cultiyated 
swells of land, for n^any miles around us. 

In the afternoon of the day on which we anchored^ an old man 
came on board ; though raggedly dressed and dirty, he appeared 
to be somewhat superior to the fishermen who brought him off. 
Not being offered a seat at first, he seemed rather disconcerted, 
and expressed a desire to leaye ; but, having learned that he was 
an ofikial personage, he was incited down to the gun-deck, and 
there seated. Being interrogated more particularly, in relation ta 
his rank in the village, he stated himself to be a Ke<!)p-tu (literally, 
assistant keeper) of Yung-lam and King-chow, and the principal 
person in the Tillage ; but that he had a superior, or cbmmanduity 
at Shundai, under whom is also another officer of equal rank with 

In reply to questions about the names of places, he said that the 
southernmost, or principal town or village, was called Shun-dai ; 
that the central one, opposite which we lay, is VungJam ; that the 
most northern is Vung-chao. Shundai, he said, formed one part, 
and Vung-lam and Vung-chao, another. He was asked whether 
there were any fortifications on shore ; and it was explained to him 
that a salute would be fired in honour of the king, if diere were any 
guns on shore to return it. He said there was no fortification at 
Yung-lam, but that Uiere was a fort at Shundai. He was then 
informed, that, on the next morning, a salute would be nred ; which 
was accordingly done, with thirteen guns. Upon inquiring whether 
the vessel was come to trade, or for public business, he was in- 
formed that she was a ship of war, sent out by the President of the 
United States, containing a special envoy, with a letter for the 
King of Cochin<»China. It was explained to him, also, that the 
envoy wished to go to the capital, as speedily as possible, in order 
to have an audience, and to present the President's letter. He 
seemed desirous to haye some written paper, which he might pre- 
sent to his superior : but no such paper was in reiidiness for him. 
It was told him, that the special agent would himself write to the 
capital, to announce his airival, and desire an audience. 

In order to obtain a bettw idea of what measures would be re- 
quisite, to expedite the application to Hu6, various questions were 
asked respecting the government,' &c. He stated that the govern- 
ment ot Shundai and its dependancies, are immediately subordi* 

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174 EMBASSY TO THB EAST. tJannaqr. 

' nate to the supreme provincial government of Fooyan (or Phuyen). 
That the provincial government consists of a Tongdok or govem- 
or whp presides over two provinces, and is now in the adjoining 
province, to the north, a Bo chang-su, or treasurer and sub-govern- 
or, and Au-tat-su, or judge > and that the seat of government is 
within a day's journey. The name of the capital he said, is Tua- 
tien-pu ; that of the king is Ming-meng. Speaking of the capita], 
he said that the ship might return northward to it in three or four 
days. Attention to other points prevented any reply being paade 
to this remark at the time, and it was afterward forgotten. He 
inquired the name of the envoy, and the number of men on board. 
He then lock leave after having drunk a little wine. The old man 
was throughout lively and cheerful. As he wrote Chinese pretty 
well, it was easy to hold intercourse with him. 

January sixth. Towards evening, a large party came on board, 
consisting of the dd head-man of Vung-lam, who visited us yesr 
terday, two persons despatched by the commandant of Shundai, 
and two Chinese interpreters, vnth a number of attendants anxious 
to satisfy their curiosity. The Chinese being able to speak the 
Mandarin as well as their own provincial dialect, (that of Canton,) 
conversation was kept up with greater facility than yesterday, lit- 
tle of it being held in writing. They stated that two officers of 
the ninth rank,, deputed by the chiefs of the provincial government, 
had arrived about noon, and had sent them to ascertain where the 
ship was from, and what was the. object in coming. They were 
answered that she was a ship of war, and sent by the President of 
the United States of America, and that she brought a special en- 
voy, bearing a letter to the king of Cochin-China. They were 
told, also,, that the envoy wished to repair speedily to the capital* 
and intended to send a letter himself to announce his arrival. Tiiey 
Tequested a written paper to enable them to report to their superi- 
ors. The following paper was therefore given them, in Chinese 
and English. After receiving it they returned to the shore : — 

I " This is a ship of wajr of the United States of America. This 
ship is called the Peacock. The captain's name is David Geisin- 
ger. This ship has been sent here by the president of the United 
States, he wishing to form a treaty of friendly intercourse with the 
king of Cochin China. 

" There is on board the ship a special envoy, Edmund Roberts^ 

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bearing a letter from the president of the United States, which he 
is to present personally to the king of Cochin-China. The num- 
ber of persons on board> including both officers and meny is one 
hundred and sixty-six. 

** The ship at first intended going into Tonquin bay, but not 
being able on aqco^unt of the current, she came here. 

'^ January sixth, 1833." 
^ Before they left, inquiries were made respecting provisions, 
ftid they were told, that it was desirable they should tell the people 
to bring things off to the ship to sell. They replied that the mar-^ 
ket was open to go and purchase any thing. On this occasion, as 
well as yesterday, ho restriction was. imposed on our visiting the 
shore, although to prevent offence being taken^ they were infonn* 
ed that we should do so, 

January seventJt. This morning, the same party as yesterday 
came off again, with the addition of the two deputies from the seat 
of government, and their retinue, consisting of umbrella-bearerSy 
trumpeters, and sword-bearers. The two deputies appeared anx* 
ious to make as much as possible of themselves. They ran over 
various questions of the same nature as those put by their precur« 
Bors ; which having been briefly answered, they were told that the 
envoy was then preparing a despatch for the king, and that in 
about an hour, it would be taken on shore by a naval officer; 
when they must be prepared to receive and forward it immediately 
to the capital of the province, or wherever else it might be neces* 
sary for them to send it, in the first instance. They then entered 
upon a number of impertinent queries, such as, whether there 
were any presents for the king; what were the contents of the 
letter to him ; asking to see. a copy of the envoy's despatch to the. 
capital, and the envoy and captain's commissions. In all these 
inquiries they were immediately checked, and with some difficulty, 
brought to answer the questions, whether they were willing to re« 
ceive and forward the despatch or not. Having answered in the 
affirmative, they were told that was satisfactory — that the despatch 
was being completed — ^that in the meanwhile they should return 
and make preparations to receive the officer who bore it. 

The subject of provisions and particularly water^ was again in- 
troduced, but nothing satisfactory was elicited in reply; the market, 
fbey said, was open. 

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176 EMBASSY TO THE BAST. [Jamntr. 

A little after noon, the despatch was carried on shore by Lieu- 
tenant Brent. It was a letter in the form of a Chinese memorial, 
from the envoy to the king of Cocbin-Ghina; and was written both 
in Chinese and English. The following is a copy : — 

" To his majesty, the king of Cochin-China :— 

^ The undersigned, Edmund Roberts, has the honour to inform 
your majesty,, that Andrew Jackson, president of the United State^ 
of America, being desirous of opening a firiendly intercourse wiA 
theking of Cochin-China, has despatched the Unit^ States' ship-of- 
war Peacock, commanded by Captain David Geisinger, to your 
majesty's dominions. The president of the United States of 
America has despatched the undersigned, his -special envoy, to 
your majesty's court, intrusting him with a letter to your majesty, - 
and has closed him with full power to treat with your majesty, 
for the important objects which the president of the United States 
has in view. He. therefore requests that your majesty Will grant 
him an interview, with the least possible loss of time. 

It was the intention of the commander of the said United States* 
ship-of-war, to have entered the bay of Turan ; but having been 
driven from thence, afiter repeated attempts, by adverse winds and 
currents, he has been pompelled ai length to enter this port. As 
contrary winds and currents now prevail, it is rendered impossible 
for the envoy to proceed to Turan bay. The undersigned must, 
therefore, await your Majesty's answer here. 

Dated on board the United States' ship Peacock, in Vung-Iam 
roads', province of Fooyan, Cochin-China, the seventh day of 
January, A. D. 1833, the fifty-seventh year of Independence. 

Not being well acquamted with the Cochin-Chinese forms, the 
letter was simply folded up in paper and sealed, being enclosed in 
vellum, and addressed — 

To His Majbstv, 

The King of Cochin-China, dec, &c., dec. 

The two deputies had made considerable parade, opposite the 
low and dirty hut, in which they were waiting to receive the de- 
spatch. There was a party of soldiers, with pikes fixed in the 

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sand, at regular distances; three elephants, with small riding- 
boxes on their backs ; palanquins, or travelling conveyances, of 'the 
kind used in (he country ; and several ponies. The village gen* 
erally has a dirty and miserable appearance. There are a few 
neat little brick and wood houses, with tiled roofs ; the rest are all 
of mat, or the kind of leaf called attapy little better than mere 

After the despatch had been received by them, with a promise 
that it should be forwarded immediatdy, several questions were 
asked respecting the roads, the conveniences Cor travelling, and 
accommodations between this and Hu^. Answers were elicited 
firom them with considerable trouble. One of them, who admitted 
that he had twice followed the road, saying that he had forgot all 
about it. They seemed desirous to give as bad an idea as possible 
of the road, as though they considered it not quite impossible for 
the ship to go further north, and thus to relieve them of all trouble 
and responsibility. The road, they said,. was big with. numerous 
dangers and difficulties ; few stopping-places or accommodations, 
and those few bad. The conveyance for baggage, cumbrous, 
being on men's shoulders. Houses were, however, numerous on 
the road, and provisions abundant. 

Their answers . respecting provisions and their prices were un« 
satisfactory ; nor could they be induced to make any arrangements 
for the natives to bring things off to the ship. Every thing appears 
much dearer her^ than we expected to find it ; even rice and sugar, 
which we supposed the chief productions, are^ not much cultivated 
in this neighbourhood. But the country around seems well fitted 
to afford abundance of cheap provisions, did commerce hold out 
any inducement to produce more than is needed for personal use. 
They stated the number of inhabitants in Yung-lam to be about 
three thousand, and rather less in each of the other places. 

Before leaving, they were again requested to forward the de« 
spatch for the king speedily ; and, at the same time, to report to 
their superiors that the envoy would require to be accompanied by 
a party of at least fifteen or sixteen persons, and considerieible bag- 
gage. As the boat pulled off, they set out, with their retinue of 
elephants, palanquins, and ponies'; and, as we afterward found, 
returned at once to their superiors, at the capital of Foo-yan* 

January eighth. In die forenoon, a Cochin«*Chinese Roman 


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178 EMBASSY TO THB lAST. Umauff 

Catholic priest came off, and held a written conrersation, in Latin, 
with Dr. Ticknor, of which the following is the substajiice : — 

Priest. I am a Catholic priest. The prefect (or goyemor) has 
sent me to inquire whether you are Catholics, and of what nation 
you are, whether French or English V 

Answer. " A few of us are Catholics* We are from North 

Priest. ^On what business has your king sent you? On 
business to our king^ or for the purpose of trade ?" 

Am.. " Our:business is with'your king* This is. a ship-of-war, 
(or king's ship,) not a merchant's ship.' * 

Priest. " Have you any presents?'^ 

Ans. '* I cannot answer that question." 

Priest. " Do you remain here, or go to our king at Hu6 ? 

Ans. ** We shall go to your king, at Hu6, when we hear from 

Priest. "The prefect sent me to learn whether you have 
business ^th our king, what it is^ and of what nation you are ?" 

Ans. " Our business has been communicated to your king, and 
it is with him alone. We are from the United States of North 
America. Have you any knowledge of North America?'* 

Priest. " I have no knowledge of North America. I know 
England, Fiance, Spain, &c. Will yoU tell me v^hether you have 
a minister {mincium ad visitandum et eognoscendum) authorized to 

Arts. '^ We have a nunister (nuneium) to your king, to be ac- 
knowledged by him." 

Priests '* Has your king sent you to our king with presents or 
empty-handed?' . 

Ans. "This is a question which I am not permitted to an- 

Priest. " Is your visit here friendly ?" 

Ans. " We have come here with the most friendly motives." 

He laughed, and said — "A ship-of-war come with friendly 
motives !" 

Here the conversation ended ; he said he would return to the 
prefect who sent him. The priest's age was probably about sixty- 
five. He said he was educated at the college of Jadent. He was 
attended by six persons. 

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January ninth. Going on shore to-day, Mr. Morrison was in* 
formed that two deputies had left, the same evening they received 
the letter for the king, and that the old head-man of the town, who 
first came on board, was mider arrest, for not having been sufficient* 
ly alert in reporting the ship's arrival. In reply to a question con* 
ceming the priest who wason board yesterday, he was informed 
that he had been sent by the governor of the province. He was 
informed, also, that two or three Chinese junks, from Hainan, visit 
this port annnally. 

Some anxiety, too, was shown, to prevent any one walking be^^ 
yond the beach. The market-^time was found to commence 
between two and three o'clock, and to end about sunset. 

January fourteenth. Mr. Morrison went on shore to make in- 
quiries respecting the trade, &c., of the place, from the principal 
of the two Chinese interpreters who had been on board on the sixth 
and following days ; and who had since ^een employed as com- 
prador for the ship. On most points this Chinese appeared igno* 
rant '; a little information was, however, obtained from him. 

He stated that from one to three Chinese junks, annually visit 
Vung-lam, about the month of January. They come from Hainan, 
and import, almost solely, tea and paper. The former, if of good 
quality, sells for two kwan (or about eighty cents) a catty, if infe* 
nor, for about half that price. They take back fah^sang, or ground«> 
nut oil, ntianure, and a few small articles. The oil costs about 
twenty-five kwan a pecul. Cocoa-nut oil is made, but to a very 
small amount. It costs about half a kwan a catty. The coasting* 
boats trade chiefly in rice, which ihey import from the south, Ne* 
hats-ang. There seem to be from twenty-five to forty of these 
boats in Yung-lam and the surrounding anchorages, and not less 
than one hundred and fifty or two hundred fishing*boats. The 
Chinese trade at Quin-hone, or Kwei-nyun, does not exceed, he 
said, four or five junks annually. This is the capital of the prov« 
ince of Pring-ding, on the north of Fooyan. The capital of the 
province of Fooyan is not large. Its name is Ttii-yan. It does 
not possess much trade, &nd of that none is maritime, the city 
being some miles from the coast. . The truth of this statement 
seems somewhat doubtful. The provinces of Fooyan and Prkig* 
ding are under the same dsong-dok pr governor. 

January sixteenths This evening the old head-man of Yang« 

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180 EMBilSB.T TO THE EAST. [JuiiauT. 

lam made his appearance again, somewhat altered in his dress, 
for the better, and seemingly alarmed at his arrest and punish- 
ment, the cause of which he professed to be ignorant of. He came 
to request that the paper, on which the conversation held with him 
the first day had been written, might be given up to him, which 
was accordingly done. 

He then expressed a desire that every one should remain on 
board, and that noikie should go on shore, except to market; speak- 
ing, at the same time, of "vexing and annoying the people." He 
was asked to explain, and said the people were alaimed. l^is, he 
was told, their behaviour contradicted ; and no molestation bad 
been given to any of them, while some of the soldiers bad been 
very troublesopie to those who went on shore ; even urging and 
almost forcing Mr. Roberts to return to the ship, when it was evi- 
dent he was waiting for the arrival of a boat. 

Two instances of vexatious behaviour were particularly men- 
tioned ; to which he replied, timt he was igncMrant of the circum- 
stances, but would inquire respecting them. He then left. 

January seventeenth. Increased difficulties having been met 
with in the purchase of provisions required for the ship, Mr. Mor- 
rison went on shore in the afternoon, to try the effect of remon- 
strance with the old head-man. On reaching the shore, he met a 
large travelling retinue coming into the town ; and was informed 
that two deputies, Mandarins, from Hue, had arrived, and were 
accompanied by the anchas^e or judge (the under-govemor) of the 
province. He therefore returned to the ship, whither he was 
shortly followed by the newly-arrived officers, in a large galley, 
Towed by thirty-two soldiers, wearing red, lacquered, peaked caps, 
with very ordinary waist clothes. The boat was about sixty feet 
in length and twelve in breadth, and built most substantially and 
neatly. She was decked with loose plank, a small cabin was 
erected amid-ships, covered with palm-leaf. She had neither 
masts nor sails ; as the stem-post raked more than a whale-boat, 
she would not readily answer her helm ; a man was therefore 
placed at each bow with a broad-bladed paddle, to assist her stew- 
ing. The men rowed in unison, standing up and facing the bows. 
^ officer was placed ami()-ships, beating time by striking against 
two pieces of bamboo, which was answered by the rowers by a 
sharp quick cry when their oars touched the water. A small 

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un.] BXPVTIEt. 181 

led square flag wa» hoisted on an ornamented staff at the tafferel, 
and many long spears bristled along the quarters. She had no 
projecting stem, a hluff bow, and was sharp aft. 

The deputies were dressed in their robes of ceremony, consisting 
of very stout figured or plain satin dresses, of blue, open on the 
sides at the bottom, the sleeves very wide ; short satin trousers of 
yellow or red-; black crape turbans, and Chinese shoes; but the 
cotton underdress was exceedingly diicty. They all wore long thin 
beards and mustaches. ^ 

They had quick black, eyes, with a lively expressive counte** 
nance. Three most filthy servants attended them, each bearing 
boxes containing areca-nuts, betel, chunam, and paper cigars; 
and. they were continually employed in scratching and picking off 
vermin. There were three umbrella-bearers, some soldiers, &c., 
and two men dressed in long blue woollen gannents, bound with a 
wide strip of red cloth about the neck and on the lower part of 
the sides, and of the same height in front. They wore a low, red, 
peaked cap,, secured to the head by means of strings passing 
from the sides across the forehead and back of the head, over a 
black turban — ^the cap only covered the head to the top of the ears. 
These men bo^e ornamented ivory sticks, with red silk tassels ; 
but, contrary to the custom of those who had previously visited us, 
these officers left the majority of their attendants behind. The 
anchasze's office designated him as of the third rank ; while the 
two deputies, it was afterward ascertained, were of the fifth rank. 
They were preceded by two interpreters, one of whom spoke 
fluently the corrupt Portuguese, dialect of Macao, and also a little 
French; the other, having been for some years in a British frigate, 
had a pretty good knowledge of the EngHsfa, so long as the conver- 
sation was confined to what was commonplace. The Portuguese in- 
teipreter was a native Christian, named Miguel, and had acquired a 
knowledge, both of speaking and reading, at Macao. The quon- 
dam man-of-war's man, was named Joseph, when in the British 

From the nature of the conversation with the two deputies, it 
was chiefly kept up in writing, notwithstanding the presence of 
ihe two interpreters. The deputies commenced by staling, that 
they had been commissioned by the '* minister of conmterce and 
navigation, ' at Hue, to come, in company with a provincial officer, 

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to inquire respecting the ship, and attend to her wants. They 
wished to know, therefore, if she stood in need of any thing. They 
WQre thanked, and informed that she was not in want; at the same 
time, they were requested to pubUsh permission for the people to 
bring provisions alongside for sale. They replied that they would 
do so. They then inquired to what country the ship 'belonged, 
and produced a large sheet, containing representations of every 
known national flag, with the names of the countries attached, ia 
French and in Chinese characters. The flag of the United States 
was pointed out to them, and they were informed that the ship was 
a man-of-war. They then put some complimentary questions^ 
respecting the health^ of our "king,** and of the individuals aa 
board, &c., whicli vinere answered and reciprocated. They had 
long, they said, heard of the country, as a good and happy one ; 
and were now rejoiced at the meeting. They inquired die purpose 
of our coming, a species of question which every new comer repeated, 
as though ignorant of any previous intercourse with the officers of 
government. The necessary answer being given, they were asked 
respecting the letter from the envoy to the king, whether it had 
reached the capital before they left. They replied it had ; but the 
address on the cover was erroneous ; and therefore the minister of 
commerce and navigation, (whom they afterward stated to be the 
chief minister,) could not venture to hand it to the king. The 
country, they said, is not now called Annam, as formerly, but 
Wietman, (in Mandarin dialect, Yudnan ;) and it is ruledj not by a 
king, (wang,) but by an emperor, (hwang«te.)* They said, also, 
that they had received orders to pay particular attention, and ex- 
amine every thing, so as to prevent any farther miscarriage or delay 
in the business of the mission. It was explained to them, that the 
errors they mentioned did not arise from any disrespect towards 
the king, (or emperor,) but from the ignorance of their forms, 
which want of intercourse occasioned. They were asked to pmnt 
out in what manner the address should be altered, and replied, that 
it would be preferable to address a letter to the minister of com- 
merce and navigation, informing him of the ship's arrival and ob- 
ject of coming ; and requesting him to state the same to the king* 
They desired to be allowed to see the letter, in order to prevent the 

* Yel the prince, who ueomes thji Utter title, ia etid to hj^re raeeiTed inTMtitai^ 
frem China, u a tribtttaiy king. 

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Itas.] SNYOT^S LETTER. 183 

admission of 'f interdicted words,*^ that is, expressions which, 
according to the Chinese punctilios of writing, are considered 
inadmissible in official correspondence with the higher ranks of 
officers. The letter to the king was then returned, at the desire of 
the envoy ; and ti>e deputies expressed a wish to know the con- 
tents of the President's letter, aB well as the particular and spe- 
cific object of the mission. They were informed that the Presi- 
dent's letter was an introduction of the envoy to the king, and that 
the envoy was prepared ta negotiate respecting the particular 
objects of this mission, after his arrival at Uu6 ; but that the one 
general object, a treaty of friendly intercourse, was inclusive of all 
other objects. This answer was far from being satisfactory, and 
tbey repeatedly Returned to the same point, till, finding they could 
obtain no other reply, tbey at length desisted. Being now re 
quested to give an explicit address for the letter to be written to 
the minister, they drew a short letter to the following efiect :-^ 

^' Edmund Roberts, envoy from the United States of America, 
desires to state to your excellency, that he has received the com^ 
raands of his president, deputing him, a petty officer,* to bring a 
public letter to this effect *, ' I have long regarded the fame of 
your kingdoms with a desire for friendly intercourse ; but I have 
not previously had an opportunity for obtaining it. ' I now entreat 
earnestly for a friendly intercourse. Beyond this, there is ho other 
point I desire.' 

*' The said envoy presumes to make this statement, praying you 
to report it to the emperor, that having glanced thereat, he may 
happily allow him to repair speedily to the capital, and respectfully 
present the letter," dec. 

The tone of this letter is extremely objectionable, for, besides 
theservileness of particular expressions, the general language is 
that of an inferior, (the same idea being often expressed in Chinese 
by different words, according to the respective ranks of the writer, 
and the person headdresses ;} the letter was therefore immediately 
tejected; and some of the most offensive expressions, such as 
• petty officer" and " earnest entreaty," were pointed out and ani- 
madverted on. ' With the effrontery of falsehood common among 
the Chinese, they denied that the expressions were those of an in- 

* This is 811 ezpreMion lued by iafenor officezf, in cwrMpoiiding with uipiri<»% 
when refeniDg to theiiisel?et. 

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ferior ; but truth does not form a part of their creed. They were 
then informed that a letter would be written by die envoy the next 
day, and that the expressions should be respectful, but not mean or 
servile. They repeated their desire to see the letter before it was 
closed, in order to expunge improper words ; and insisted on the 
necessity of their so doing. They were told, that they might see 
the letter; but that no material corrections could be made at their 
suggestions, after a fair copy of the letter had been prepared. 
After some further conversation and dispute concerning points of 
small import, they returned to the shore, at about eleven o'clock in 
the afternoon. The old judge had left early in the evening, having 
become seasick. 

January eighteenth. This morning, the deputies came on 
board by appointment, to receiye the letter from the envoy to the 
minister. They were again accompanied by the judge, who had 
recovered from his seasickness. Some refreshments were brought, 
consisting of a bullock, a hog, a few poultry, some rice and w^ine, 
which were presented to the envoy and captain, with felicitations on 
their arrival. 

There being some doubt whether the minister of commerce and 
navigation was the chief minister of state, (although they had a3- 
serted he was,) the address, of the chief minister was now asked. 
Before they^inswered this question, they wished to see the letter; 
but this being refused, they eventually gave an address the same 
as yesterday, viz. : ^ To the n^nister of commerce and navigation 
of Cochin-China.'* This address was therefore inserted without 
alteration in the Chinese copy of the letter. In the English, it was 
altered to '^the minister for foreign affairs, commerce and naviga- 
tion;" he being the saine. minister called by Mr. Crawfordi the 
"Mandarin of strangers." The letter was then shown to them, 
and after a few trivial alterations of single words in the Chinese 
translation, which were acceded to, they expressed themselves sat- 
isfied ; it was therefore seajled, and 'delivered to them to forward. 
The following is a copy : — 

" To the minister for foreign affairs, commerce and navigation^ 

" Edmund Roberts, special envoy from the Uuited States of 
America, desires to inform your excellenpy that Andrew JacksoOt 

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the president of the United States, wishing to open a friendly in* 
tercourse wiih the emperor of Cochin-China, has sent the United 
States' ship-of-war Peacock, commanded by Captain David Gei* 
singer, to his majesty's dominions. 

MiAnd the president of the said United States of America has 
deputed me his special envoy to his majesty's court, intrusting me 
with a letter to his hiajesty ; and has clothed me with full powers 
to treat, on behalf of the president i)f the United States, for the 
important objects which he has in view. I therefore request your 
excellency to state this to his majesty ; and hope that an interview 
will be granted with the least possible loss of time. 

** It was the intention of the commander of the said United 
States' ship-of-war to have entered the bay of Turan; but having 
been driven from thence, after repeated attempts, by adverse winds 
and currents, he has been compeUed at length to enter this port of 
Yung-lam. As contrary winds and currents still prevail, it is ren« 
dered impossible for him to proceed to Turan bay. The under- 
signed therefore awaits his majesty's answer here. 

" Signed and sealed on board the United States' ship Peacock, in 
Yung-lam roads, province of Fooyan, Cochin-China, the eighteenth 
day of January, A. J)., 1833, and of the Independence of the Uni- 
ted States, the fifty-seventh. 


A little general conversation ensued, at the conclusion of this 
business ; they having promised that an answer should be received 
in seven or eight days. 

They asked several questions respecting America and Europe, 
for instance, what is the meaning of " the fifty-seventh year of 
independence ?" — " Is England now at peace with France ?" — " Has 
France recovered peace since the last revolution ? and where is the 
dethroned king living ?" — " Is America at war with any country ?" 
ice. These and other questions of a similar nature having been 
answered, they took their leave, inviting Mr. Roberts, Captain 
Geisinger, and the other gentlemen on board, to call on them. 
They were at the same time invited to visit the ship whenever they 

January nineteenth. Three of the gentlemen went on shore, 
about noon, to visit the deputies, taking an excuse for Mr. Roberts 


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186 EMBASSY TO THB EASl^ Uwaasr, 

and Captain Gcisinger. They were found residing in a neat little 
brick house, situated in a small garden of areca and betel plants ; 
the latter being generally twined round the smooth round trunk of 
the areca-tree. The house is the most respectable in the place, 
and appears to be a private residence hired for the occasion. •The 
conversation was for the most part common-place. The judge, 
they informed us, had returned to the capital of the province, to 
attend to the duties of his office. 

, A little information- was obtained respecting provisions, fire- 
wood, and the nature. of their mission to Hu^. On the latter sub- 
ject, they confirmed for the most part, the account previously 
obtained firom the two first deputies, and insisted on making a 
present of some fire wood, saying they would send a person next 
day to show where it could be cut. They were requested to give 
permission. to shoot and ride, but declined doing either. Shooting, 
they said, is prohibited by law. During the conversation, they 
stated, that there is an American named Leemesay (probably Lind- 
say) engaged as a pilot on board one of their ships. This is an 
Englishman who finds it more convenient to pass among these 
people as American than as English. On leaving, the deputies 
said they would call on board the following day. A present of 
firewood was brought along-side in the evening. 

January twentieth: This morning, anotlier present of fire- 
wood came off, and with it the Portuguese interpreter Miguel. He 
brought a note in French, addressed to the ydunger M. Vanier, 
whose mother being Cochin-Chinese, he remains in the country, 
although his father has returned to France. M. Vanier is now em- 
ployed as a pilot, aitd is about to go to the straits of Malacca, with 
a cargo of sugar from Turan. He will be joined by a vessel from 
Ahiatrang, laden with rice, and piloted by Leemesay, (or Lindsay,) 
the American whom the deputies spoke, of yesterday. Miguel 
informed us that the Roman Catholics are persecuted under th^ 
present religion ; and that the few French, Spanish, and Italian 
priests, who are living in the country, are obliged to conceal them- 

Pdre Jacard, a Frenchman, is confined wholly to the precincts of 
the palace, where he is employed in the care of the king's Euro- 
pean books, charts,' mathematical instruments, '&c. It is difiScult 
for foreigners (excepting Chinese) to gain admission; legal per- 

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M»] ^ THEN LVJ> LE. 187 

mission must be obtained from the chief officers of the provincial 
goyemment, in that part of the country, where admission is sought. 
About noon, the deputies made their appearance. The conver- 
sation was short and common-place. They requested to be shown 
the ship's voyage, on a chart, and were curious to know why 
China was visited before coming to Cocliin-China, it being more 
to the north. They desired to be shown about the ship, and then 
took their leave promising to send their barge (a large boat, manned 
with thirty oars) to cut and bring off firewood, the next morning. 
As they spoke of tigers, they were told that guns must be taken 
as a defence ; and they at length gave their consent to shoot- 
ing. As they left, they particularly invited the envoy and Captain 
Geisinger to visit them the following day. Their invitation was 
accepted, being desirous of not giving offence. 

January twenty-first. The weather being unfavourable, an 
excuse was sent, deferring the visit until better weather. 

January twenty-third. Notwithstanding the weather continued 
unfavourable and rainy, another visit was received this morning 
from the two deputies, whose names were now found to be Yuen 
and Le. They asked numerous questions respecting Europe ^d 
America, seeming particularly desirous to know the affairs of En- 
gland, and the nature of the United States government. In answer 
to their inquiries abotit the President, they were informed that he 
is elected by the people, once in four years. ' They asked also 
a few questions respecting American productions, particularly gin- 
seng, of which they knew something ; they repeated their inqui- 
ries as to the object of visiting Canton, and the time spent there, . 
and whether there wete any presents from the president, &c. 

In reply to questions put to them, they stated, that the tribunals 
and officers at court, and the titles of their ministers and other offi- 
cers, are the same as in China ; but they evaded telling the names 
of any of th^ ministers, saying, that they could not remember them 
all. ^ They declined some trifles offered to them, on the plea that 
they dare not receive any presents. They then repeated their in- 
vitation to Mr. Roberts and Captain Geisinger, to visit them on 
shore, and promised assistance in procuring provisions. They 
urged, that, the ports were already open to trade, and therefore 
the mission unnecessary. They were told in reply that the 
regulations of trade were not knovm, and the charges on ships 

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188 EMBASSY TO THH EAST. ^ tJanany. 

were so high, it was found impossible to trade — ^that the mis- 
sion was not destined to apply to them but tothe court; and that 
whatever might be the state of the case, speedy measures should 
have been taken to enable the mission to proceed to Hue. 

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pRBan>Eirr8 UBmiiMnicoNDrnoNAL RsauiRBiiENTB of the DEFirnsa. 

On this mcnming; January twenty^burth, Captain 6. and my- ^ 
self visited the deputies : their residence was somewhat improred, 
since the previous visit paid to them ; considering the filthy habits 
of the people^ it was neat and comfortable. Our conreYsation was 
short and common*place. The deputies informed us that they had 
been to Bengal, a year or two before, and also to Manila. 

January twenty^sixth. One of the officers, who had come from 
the capital of tlie province on our first arrival, appeared again to- 
day, accompanied by another whom we had not before seen, and 
tbe two interpreters, bringing complimentary messages to the 
envoy, and refreshments, which, they said, were sent by order of 
the king. They consisted of a feast, (comprising fifty-one dishes,) 
two bullocks, four dogs, five sacks of rice, five jars of native liquor^ 
thirty ducks, thirty fowls, eggs, and a variety of firuita. 

As it would have given offence, and impeded, if not wholly de« 
fitroyed the object of the mission, to have refused tbe present, it 
was immediately accepted with thanks; and the officers, who 
brought it off, were informed, tliat a salute of thirteen guns would 
be fired in honour of the king, as the present was said to have come 
from him. The feast was brought on the board in handsomely Tar- 
nished and gilded cases;. to all outward appearance, it was very 
neat and cleanly ; but we could not divest ourselres of the idea, 
that it was cooked in the uncleanly yessels we had scon on shore, 
^d that it had come in contact with the filthy paws, dirty nails, 
and heads filled with yermin, which we had seen on shore : woi 

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therefore, barely tasted of one article, the confectionary. A com- 
plimentary toast was drunk to the emperor, in a glass of their 
favourite rice wine. 

The mandarin, who came to present the feast, was dressed in a 
robe of ceremony, of very stout, light blue, flowered silk. He was 
invited to partake of the feast, but p<ditely excused himself, saying, 
'* I dare not partake of a feast presented by tlie emperor." He was 
therefore furnished with other refreshmenbi. 

The feast was arranged in the cabin, by a servant sent with it, 
assisted by several others : it was served up in China, and con- 
sisted of fifty-one articles, (exclusive of fruits,) arranged in the fol- 
lowing order : At the head was placed an entire tortoise, jellied on 
the otitside, and filled with rice, &c. ; then followed a leg of fresh 
boiled pork ; two roasted ducks ; one. roasted fowl ; a deep saucer 
of roasted pork, cut in squarjs pieces ; and tkree stewed pigeons in 
a bowl, with sauce. The preceding seven articles were* arranged 
from the head to the foot of the table, in the centre, and were 
flanked with seventeen bowls, each containing a different article. 
One contained stewed eels, whether of the hedge or ditch, lam not 
able to determine ; another was filled with stewed mullet. One 
had within it a piece of stewed fish, with sauce ; a fourth held fish 
pickle, or the essence of balachang, emitting a most unsavoury 
smell. Seven of the bowls were covered with yellow paper, and 
ten with red : they contained chow-chow, or mixed meats, deers* 
sinews — ^which latter were particularly recomm^ended. 

The name and contents of each article were inscribed in Chi- 
nese characters, on its cover. The remaining portion of the dishes, 
consisted of two bowls of boiled ducks' eggs, and one of fowls; 
one of boiled crabs ; three of red, yellow, and white rice ; two of 
sausages ; three of rice pilau ; one of stewed fowl ; one of shrimps ; 
one of bitter cucumbers ; two of sponge-cake ; and the rest were 
forced-meat pasties and confectionary They were cooked with 
ground-nut oil, or the fiat of fresh pork; and were, generally, very' 
insipid, and totally without seasoning. 

These refreshments had been sent in consequence of the receipt, 
at Huj, of the envoy^s letter to the minister, and the officers said 
that a reply might be expected in two or three days, at farthest. 

In the afternoon, the deputies' barge came alongside, and the 
interpreters said there were two mandarim on board : but, seeing 

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that the ship rolled very much, they would defer the visit until the 
next momiog. 

This morning, January the twenty-seventh, the two interpreters 
appeared, to say, that two officers had arrived from Hu^, but that 
the vessel was so unsteady they were afraid to come on board, lest 
seasickness should prevent tfaem from fulfilling, to the full extent, 
their mission. They, therefore, requested Mr. Roberts to visit, 
and to converse with them on shore. 

This attempt to make the envoy wait on them, could not, th'ey 
were told, be complied with ; but Mr. Morrison would go on shore, 
if they desired it, to ascertain dieir business. 

Mr. M. accordingly went on shore, immediately after breakfast, 
and found the two former deputies, accompanied by two others, 
said to be of higher rank, who were far less prepossessing in their 
appearance, and much ruder in their manners. 

The following conversation took place with them : — 

Mr. M. " Is there any letter from Hu^ ?" 

Deputies. ''No; we two officers have been deputed by the 
minister to come here." 

Mr. M. "Will there be any letterT 

Dqp. ** No ; we are sent in place of a letter.'* 

Mr. M. " What message do you bring from HwST 

Dep. "The minister of commerce and navigation has received 
the letter sent by the envoy ; the contents being respectful and 
reasonable, he gave directions to the local officers to prepare a 
feast for the envoy. With regard to shooting, although it is con- 
trary to the laws, permission is granted, in die present instance, for 
a few to shoot at a time, in consideration that you know how to 
regard the laws." 

Mr. M. " Shooting is not the business on which the envoy has 
come here. That is a trivial matter, not worth mentioning again. 
The envoy has come on important national bu^ess, with a letter 
for the emperor : he wishes to know what message you have from 
the emperor." 

Dep. " Though the shooting is a trivial matter, we have mem- 
tioned it, because you formerly made a request on the subject. As 
to the business of the letter, we require to converse respecting it 
with the official gentlemen :" meaning the envoy and those who 
they supposed were associated with him; for the Cochin-Chi- 

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192 EMBASSY TO THE BAST. [Januaqr. 

nese, like the Chinese, seldom send o£Gicers singly on any special 

Mr, M. " It would be contrary to all etiquette, for the envoy to 
come on shore, to converse with you on this subject. If yon have 
any thing to communicate, tell it to me, or (which would be better) 
go on board and tell it." 

Dep. " We like your regard for etiquette, and have now come 
with the wish to conduct your business according to etiquette, and 
to conclude it speedily. Yesterday we were prevented going on 
board by the wind : as you have now come, we will enter on the 
business with you at once. 

" Tlie minister of commerce and navigation desires us to com* 
municate to the envoy the necessity of his having a copy and a 
translation of the president's letter to lay before the emperor ; also 
to state, that without full and complete information, the minister 
darfe not report to his majesty. Having come 00 great a distance, 
^ou are doubtless anxidua for the speedy conclusion of the busi- 
ness of your mission. It is on this account we have been sent ; 
for our laws are strict, and demand implicit obedience : therefore, 
we are directed to show you how to conform to them. What 
ought now to be done, is to give a copy and translation of the 
President's letter. 

" Further, in the letter from the envoy, mention is niade of the 
important objects which the President has in view. Without 
knoMung what these important objects are, the minister can make 
no report to the emperor. Were he to do so, and the emperor 
should make any particular inquiries of him, respecting the mis- 
sion, he would be unable to reply. If you will give a copy of the 
letter, and information with regard to these objects, four or five 
days will be sufficient to come to some determination respecting 
yonr mission." 

Mr. M. /* Letters between the fulers of nations ought not to be 
submitted to the inspection of their ministers and people, but must 
first be delivered to the rulers to whom they are addressed. Of 
^ the. President's letter, there is both an original and a translation; 
which will be delivered, together, to the emperor, after the envoy 
has reached the capital." 

Dep, " If you will allow us to see a copy of the translation, your 
business may then be advanced. 

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** In the intercourse of China with France, England, &c., 
copies of their letters must first be shown to the minister or his 
deputies, before they can make any report to the emperor. Other* 
wise, being ignorant of the contents of the letter, they dare not 

Afr. 3f. ''We know not the etiquette of China, but that of 
Europe, and all the nations of the west. Letters are first pre- 
sented to the rulers, to whom they are addressed. Copies are not 
first shown to their ministers." 

Dtp. '* Frtince and England hare sent envoys here, who did not 
refuse to show copies of the letters which they brought." 

Mr. M, ** I have heard that the English envoy, who complied 
with this demand, had no audielice." 

Dep. "The governor-general (Ta-ping-t'how, great military 
headman) of Bengal, sent an envoy here, with' a letter to th& 
minister, and he concluded the business satisCactorily. Would we 
treat the English well and you ill ?" 

Mr. M, '' You are, indeed, putting difficulties in the way. It 
has never been customary with us to show copies of letters previ- 
ously to presenting the originals " 

Dep. " We are all the servants of our respective rulers, and we 
desire, equally with you, to bring your business to a satis&ctory 
conclusion. We request you to think what object we can have in 
raising difiiculties V* 

Not being able to come to any conclusion oti this point, they 
were asked if they Jiad any thing else to say, when they pointed to 
what they had before written, respecting the important^ objects 
which the President had in view. They iJien wrote again : '' You 
should return to the ship^ and get the directions of the envoy and 
captain, on these two important points, viz. :— < 

" Ist. To show a copy of the President's letter. 

" 2d. To state clearly the particular objects of the mission. In 
the evening come again, and inform us of the result." 

'^ Our country wishes to receive and treat you in a liberal man- 
ner. France and England did not refuse to show copies of their 
letters. Why do you? We have been sent by the minister with 
these orders, and wish you to act in accordance with the advice 
we have now given. Your business will then be so<m finished, 
which will afford the minister pleasure also." 


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194 XMBA88T TO THS XA8T. (laowQr. 

Mr. M. ** If these are the orders yoQ have received, I fear we 
must soon leave." . • 

Dep. '^ Why do you say so ? Our todeavour is to bring your 
business to a speedy conclusion^ All envoys must desire to bring 
their business to a satisfactory conclusion. We wish to aid you 
in doing so. Of what use is it to talk of returning? What object 
will be efifected if you do so ?" 

Mr. M. " If such points are insisted upon, we must consider 
that the emperor desires no intercourse with our country ; in which 
case there is nothing left for us but to return." 

This view of the matter was strongly objected to by the depu- 
ties, whom Bffr. Morrison left with an understanding that he w<Mild 
probably visit them again in the afternoon. 

In the afternoon, accordingly, Mr. Morrison, having received 
farther instructions, went on shore and recommenced the conver- 
sation, saying :-— 

^' I have now received directions from the envoy to tell you, that 
what you insisted upon this morning, cannot be complied with ; 
for it would be disallowed by our government. The letter is 
sealed, and cannot now be opened ; but must either be carried by 
the envoy to the capital, or must be carried back, and the cause 
stated to the President.'', 

The deputies now inquired H there were really a translation of 
the President's letter, in a manner which implied distrust and un- 
beUef of what they had been told. Being assured that a translation 
really existed, they returned to their former point, desiring a copy — 
not, however, of the translation, but of the general scope of it. 
Compliance with ^is request was refused, unless they could show 
directions to that effect f^om the emperor. 

Dep. '^ If there is, indeed, a Chinese translation, it is requisite 
to show a copy of it, before a report can be made to, or an order 
received from, the emperor. Being foreigners, how can you refuse 
to have your business conducted by us, who are the appointed 
deputies ? or how can you insist on going at \)nce to the capital to 
present the letter personally V* 

Mr. M. " Without seeing an order from the emperor, the leller 
cannot be shown to any one ; nor can the envoy stay here much 
longer. In a few days, either he must repair to the capital, or tlie 
ship must leave this port and go \o sea. Two of you have been 

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already informed of this, when you received the envoy's letter to 
the 'minister. As we have been detained here nearly a month, 
without any thing having beai done, it is now repeated to you all." 

Dep. " This delay is owing to your own mismanagement, in 
not having given a translation of the President's letter, stating the 
objects of the mission. It is in consequence of this Inismanage- 
ment, that the ministet has been unable to state your arrival and 
object to the emper(»r. Hence the delay, which has in no way 
arisen from any want of kind reception on the minister's part, or of 
attention on ours. Our laws are very strict, and the forms required 
by our etiquette^ numerous. Were we to offend against either, the 
offence would not be considered slight. We have now been sent 
to see that every thing be done according to etiquette and law, and 
this requisition must, indeed, be acceded to, before you can obtain 
permission to proceed to Hu^.** 

Mr, M, ** A letter between the sovereigns of two nations, cannot 
be carelessly and inconsiderately shown to any or every one. As 
to the letter and the objects of the mission, should the envoy go to 
Hu6, the former can then be presented, and the negotiation of the 
business entered upon. But, should the envoy not go to Hu^, it 
yt'HX be needless to speak of either." 

Dep. ''We, the officers specially deputed by tlie minister 
alone, require to see the letter. How can it be careless or incon- 
siderate to show it to us? If every thing is left unexplained, then, 
although you should go to the capital, the minister would still- have 
to depute officers to obtain a clear knowledge of your business, be* 
fcMte he could make any report to the emperor !" 

Mr. M. " Was the envoy's letter lo the minister received T 

Dep, ** It was ; but the expression, * important objects,' was 
not explained, nor was diere a translation of the President's letter; 
hence, he could not venture to makd any report. He has, there- 
fore, sent us to repeat these inquiries ; that, after he has learned 
the result from ns, he may report to the emperor." 

Mr, M. " If the envoy were at the capital, he would then make 
all requisite explanations to the minister. If he cannot go to the 
capital .without making such explanations to you, the ship will 
have to go to sea. 

<Us the minister of commerce the same as the minister' ot 
elephants ? 

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** If he received the letter, why is there no written answer from 

Dep. " The minister of commerce is a great minister, who di- 
.rects the affairs of all foreign vessels that come here. In the letter 
sent to him, there was much that was not explained. Therefore, 
we have been sent to arrange and explain everything ; after which 
he will be able to report. Of what use would it be to give any 
previous written reply ?" 

- Mr. M. " You, had better make a speedy report of to-day*s 
conversation ; for if the envoy does not shorUy obtain leave to go 
to Hue, he will be necessitated to leave. The envoy is not likely 
to retract what he says/' 

Dep. *^ Your ship has crossed a wide sea to bring an envoy 
from your country ; and the minister has acted towards yon accord* 
ing to his majesty's gracious wishes of tenderness towards foreign- 
ers. He wishes to conclude your business speedily and satisfac- 
torily for you ; but you also must act according to our laws and 
etiquette : then you will not fail in your object. Return, and tell 
the two gentlemen (meaning Mr. R. and Capt. G.) that they 
may think maturely on the subject ; to-morrow we will visit the 

Mr. M. '' The subject has been already fully thought on ; I 
request you to think it over once more." 

They then again insisted on the necessity of every thing being 
fully explained, before another step could be taken ; and, addres- 
sing Mr. Morrison personally, they said : '' As you have read Chi- 
nese literature, you are acquainted with our forms of etiquette, and 
what is right and proper. Explain these to the envoy, that he may 
follow them ; the success of the mission will then be owing to your 
eflforts ; whereas, by refusing to do so, the blame of failure will 
rest entirely on you." 

To this absurd language no reply was returned. They were 
told; that the envoy came with a desire to, open a friendly inter- 
course, and would be sorry to return without having effected that 
object : but that he would not act contrary to the niles of his own 
country ; and that he thought, if the emperor were informed of the 
circumstances, he would not desire any previous copy of the letter 
to be given. The conversation then ended, the deputies refusing 
to answer questions on any other subjects. 

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January twenty^eighth. This morning, early, the four deputies 
came on board, as they had yesterday stated their intention of 
doing. The conyersatioti was commenced by asking the object of 
their visit, as they had yesterday been told, that the envoy could 
not give up the President's letter,, nor enter into any further partic- 
ulars respecting the objects of the mission^ They were at the 
same time told not to speak of " two gentlemen,'' as the business 
of the mission rested wholly with the envoy. 

Dcp. " The letter which the envoy sent to the 'minister, spoke 
of very important objects, but did not explain what those objects 
were ; therefore, the minister being unable to speak to the em- 
peror, has sent us to inquire particularly; that when we have in- 
formed him of the objects, he may make his report, and conclude 
the business of your mission speedily." 

The Envoy. " Two of your number have already asked repeated 
questions on this subject, and have been as often told, that the 
subject cannot be treated of before the mission proceeds to Hu^. 
As this has been often told you, why do you now delay the mis- 
sion with repetitions of the same questions ? The minister is fully 
aware that my mission is for the purpose of opening a friendly in- 
tercourse between the two countries. Why, then, does he not 
make report thereof to the emperor ? and why is there no order 
£rom the emperor, either permitting me to go to Hu^, or directing 
my return ? This line of conduct certainly appears uncivil ; I 
must, therefore, conclude that the emperor is unwilling to admit 
our intercourse. If you have any thing further to speak of, say 
it ; but do not go over yesterday's conversation again." 

Dep. "Our country wishes to receive and treat you with 
liberality ; but there is an appearance of secrecy in the letter to 
the minister, which requires explanation. Our conduct is in 
accordance with true politeness. How say you we are un- 

Envoy. ^'If, when the ship arrived, the minister of commerce 
had immediately reported to the emperor the arrival of a United 
States' vessel, vfith a special envoy on board, bearing a letter from 
the President to the emperor, and had requested leave for the 
mission to proceed forthwith to the capital, such conduct would 
have been open, polite, and becoming. But to profess that he 
dare not report to the emperor, and detain the mission here for a 

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198 EMBASSY TO THB EAST. {Januur, 

long period, refusing to let it proceed at once to. the capital, is, in- 
deed, extremely rude." 

Dep. Hitherto all envoys bringing letters here, from whatever 
country, have stated their contents and the objects of their mission, 
through o£Gicers deputed, like us, to receive such information. 
This has always been necessary before a report could be made. 
We have heard of you a» a just, polite, and well-denaeaned nation; 
and the minister, when he heard of your arrival, was much pleased, 
and desirous of bringing your business to a satisfactory conclufiioo, 
in order to establish a friendly intercourse with you. [They were 
here told that the niinister was required to make no such request.] 
What answer would he be able to give, should the emperor inquire 
about particulars ?" 

Here they were pointed to Mr. Crawford^s account of his mis- 
sion to Siam and (Tochin-China, page 269 ; where he received 
wbat amounted to a reprimand, f^r having shown to the 
governor of Saigon the governor-general's letter, vfhen the minis- 
ter of elephants told him : " It is his majesty's wish, when the 
governor-general writes again, that the letter may be sealed, for 
this is the custom of Cochin-China." And again, '' It is not agree- 
able to the customs of the coimtry, that any should inspect 
letters addressed to his majesty, before they reach his own 

They did not appear, or choose not to appear, acquainted vrith the 
circumstances of Mr. Crawford's mission, and did not want, they 
said, the original letter^ but a translation. 

Envoy. " If I return, and rep(»rt to the President that, when I 
came here to propose a friendly intercourse between our countries, 
the ministers of Cochm-China refused to report my arrival to tlie 
emperor; took upon themselves to treat me rudely, and, after 
having detained me a whole month, forced me to leave, without 
obtaining admission to the capital ; when this is told, what, think 
you, will be the world's opinion of your country ? Its opinion wJU 
be,, that you are ain extremely rude nation. If permission be not 
Boon given for me to proceed to the capital, I shall be necessitated 
to leave ; for within ^e present year I have to go to eight or nine 
other places. 

The latter part of this reply was intended to remove an error 
they seemed to have fallen into, in supposing that the ship had 

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come from the United States, solely to negotiate a treaty with 

Dep. ** Every thing in our country must be done according to 
etiquette. Hitherto all countries, whether far or near, have paid 
regard to this rule. The etiquette to be observed by ministers of 
government, is to report no business, until they have obtained com- 
plete knowledge of it. We have been desirous to e£fect for you 
the objects of your mission, but you have b^en obstinate in your 
determinations. Pray, what would you think of an envoy fron\ 
any other country coming here^ and Refusing to have any thing 
done through the medium of officers deputed, like us, for the pur- 
pose of^arranging the business of his mission, and insisting on 
immediate admission to the emperor's presence ? If the circum- 
stances be told to all the world, the right and wrong will then be 
known. Our country has always received other nations liberally, 
without deriving any advantage from them. 
. '' Before," they continued, "you said there was no translation of 
the President's letter; now you say there is : — ^before, you said the 
vessel was going to no other place ; now you say she is going to 
nine other places. What are we to understand by this ?" 

As not the slightest hint had been given to favour either of these 
assertions, they were immediately contradicted. They had never 
been told, either that the President's letter was not translated, or 
that the envoy had business in Cochin-China alone. 

They now stated they did not want the letter opened ; they only 
required to know what was desired ; whether land to build facto- 
ries on, privileges of trade, or what ? 

Envajf, " No favours or privileges are asked for. Our gov- 
ernment does not build factories. Friendly intercourse alone is 

Dep. " Is commerce desired V* ^ 

Envoy. ** That is necessarily included in friendly intercourse 
between the two countries ; which will be for the advantage, not of 
one, but of both." _ 

Dep. " You have now come over an extensive ocean as an en- 
voy. The ministw has acted according to the emperor's gracious 
vrishes of tenderness towards foreigners. He wishes to conclude 
your affairs happily and satisfactorily ; but you persist and de- 
termine, of your own accord^ to return unsuccessful. Say not 

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200 EMBASSY TO TBB EAST. ^ Uummy. 

that yea were not receired well and liberally. . The Cault lies with 

Envoy. ^* As you refuse our intercourse, and I cantiot obtain 
permission to go to Hu6, 1 must leave shortly* The fault lies not 
with me» but in the minister's uncivil treatment. On my return, I 
shall have to report, that the minister had the presumption to take 
the business of the mission into his own hands, without making 
any report to. the emperor. How call you such conduct " liberal 
treatment V 

Dep. " We too have be^n sent to bring the business of your 
mission to a determinate point ; but your obstinacy leaves us at 
a loss what to do. We will return in a day or two to the capital^ 
and make a report of the circumstances.'' 

This was said by the two who had arrived on the twenty-sixth. 

In reply, they were told that the envoy could have nothing to do 
with their movements ; that when quite ready he would leave ; but 
that, when he did so, he would write a protest against the manner 
in which he had been treated, and would send a copy of such |vo* 
test to the emperor, and copies to other princes also. At first, not 
seeming to understand what was meant, they desired that it should 
be sent to the minister instead of the emperor ; but this^ they were 
told, was out of the question. 

Janiuiry twenty-ninth. Some gentlemen who had been on 
shore in the course of yesterday, having been asked when the ship 
would sail, Mr. Morrison visited the deputies this miming, with 
the following written communication : — 

'' I hear that you inquired last evening when our ship would 
sail. I am directed by the envoy to tell you, that if, within six 
days, the imperial permission be not received for the mission to so 
to Hue, the vessel will then sail. 

'' The envoy does not act inconsiderately, as deeming this an affair 
of a trivial nature : but he is necessitated to leave, because the busi- 
ness confided to him, in other places, will not admit of a long delay. 

" Nor does he consider it a thing of small import, that the minis- 
ter of commerce, &c., refuses to report his arrival to the emperor^ 
or to ^ord him the means of presenting the letter." 

In reply, the two deputies who had first arrived, (for the other 

f * Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

FAL8BHOOD8. 201 

two, though not yet on their way for Hue, did not appear,) returned 
to their former position, that they were desirous of bringing the 
business to an amicable and satisfactory conclusion, but were pre- 
vented by the obstinacy of the envoy. If a translation of the Pres* 
ident's letter^ and a complete statement of the objects of the mis- 
sion, were delivered to them, then some conclusion might be 
come to. 

Xhey were told it was useless talking thus, as the determination 
of the envoy had already been communicated to them. Should 
the envoy go to Hu^, on his arrival there, the minister might re- 
ceive a copy of the President's letter, and what explanations he 
might desire as to the objects of the mission. Similar conversa- 
tion was kept up for a few minutes, during which the deputies re- . 
ceived a vrritten paper from the other twp, who were within. They 
then wrote, that " the President, being elected and promoted by 
the people, and not possessing the actual title of king, it behoov- 
ed him to v^ite in a manner properly decorous and respectful ; on 
which account it was requisite for the translation to be examined, 
in order to ezpimge improper words.** 

In reply to this insulting language, they were told that the Presi* 
dent was inferior to no king or emperor, and vfere then left. 

In consequence of the insult thus olBfered to the President, Mr. 
Morrison again went on shore in the afternoon, in company widi 
Mr. Fowler, for the purpose either of obtaining an apology, or of 
handing the deputies, for the information of the minister, a protest 
from the envoy against the adoption of such language. They now 
withdrew what they had said in the morning ; and, having previously 
torn up the paper on which they had written, they denied that they 
had said what was attributed to them. " The other day," said they, 
** you tokl us that your President is elected by the people ; we 
asked, therefore, whether he was really a king or not : and let- 
ters, we said, should be humble and decorous.'* 

Had there been any doubt (which there was not) of the real 
sense of what they said in the morning, the total inccAerency of 
what they now advanced would afford Strong presumption against 
its truth; for who could vrrite in one sentence, the questioiii 
" Whether or not the President is a real king ;" and the assertion 
that "letters should be humble and decorous,** with other than the 
insulting viewt attributed to them in the morning? But, as they 


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202 BMBA88T TO THB BAST. iinmar. 

denied haTing spoken by conunahd of their master the minister, 
and wholly disclaimed any intention of insult, the apology was 
thought sufficient^ and the envoy's protest was not handed to them. 
They were again told that, though the President did not bear the 
title of king, yet he was equal to any king or emperor, and was so 
i acknowledged by all with whom the United States had intercourse. 

This point being set to rest, a list of the refreshments, which 
, had been received from them at different times, was handed to them, 
with a request that they would say whether it was correct or not. 
They were Uien told, that if the business of the mission were to end 
unsuccessfully, the refreshments they had sentcoiildnot be accepted 
as presents, but must be paid for. This they strenuously resisted, 
saying, repeatedly, that the things were of small value. ''No- 
thing,'*, they were answered, "of the smallest value, could be ac- 
cepted, if the mission ended without going to Hu^. Should the 
mission proceed thither, they would be accepted as tokens of a 
friendly disposition between the two countries ; but otherwise, no 
friendly intercourse being established^ every thing must be paid 

As the feast, when brought on board, had been represented as 
coming from the emperor, it was now asked how that could be the 
case, since the emperor was not yet apprized of the vessel's 
arrival ? The deputies replied, that it was customary to present 
such refreshments to foreign vessels on their arrival ; therefore it 
was considered as coming from the emperor, although prepared by 
the provincial officers, at the direction of the minister. 

They were then asked what the minister's object Was in thus de» 
laying the business of the mission, and refusing to report to the 
emperor. They replied, as usual, that their wish was to expedite, 
pot to retard the business of the mission ; which was hindered, they 
said, only by the envoy's refusal to act accordiilg to their advice. 
It was argued, that if any one had business with them, he would 
not stay to explain his business to their servants, but would require 
to speak with themselves at once. Arguments, however, proved 
uaeless. They either could or would not comprehend them. The 
^mo deputies, who were returning to Hu^, had not left, but were to 
start die same evening. 

January thirtieth. The deputies appearing to act under spe- 
cific orders, from which they could not deviate in the least, the 

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imi sktot's lsttbe. 

enYoy now addressed a letter to the minister of 4;ommeTGe, spe- 
cifying^e objects of the mission^ and enclosing a copy of the 
President's letter, with a Chinese translation of it. The foUowing 
are copies of the documents : — 

Letter from Edmund JRobertSy Esq,, special envoy from the United 
States of America, to the CodiinrChinese minister of foreign 
affairs^ commerce^ ^c. :— 

''Edmund Roberts, special envoy from the United States of 
America, desires to inform your excellency, that he wrote, on the 
eighteenth of the present month, acquainting your excellency with 
the wish entertained by the President of the United States to open 
a friendly intercourse with the emperor of Cochin-China ; and with 
his consequent appointment of myself to be the bearer of a letter 
which I am to present to his majesty ; having, at the same time, 
full powers to treat, on behalf of the President, for the important 
objects which he has in view. 

I have now the pleasure to enclose copies of the original, and a 
translation in Chinese, of the President's letter to the emperor, for 
your excellency's inspection. The important objects of the Presi- 
dent, mentioned in the letter, are solely to ascertain, if the emperor 
is willing to admit the American commercial intercourse on the 
same terms as those of the most favoured nations ; or on what con- 
ditions he will admit it, and into what ports. No exclusive privi- 
leges are asked for. And the envoy is not charged with any other 
matter or thing, excepting to establish a suitable commercial treaty 
between the two nations. These are the only objects of Um 

'* Had your excellency sent a written answer, requesting the 
above information, the envoy would have given these particulars 
previously ; but certain persons inquired tlie object of the vessel's 
coming, and asked for a copy of the President's letter, to whom 
this information could not be given, as they could show no docu- 
ment or authority from your excellency. 

'' The envoy has aheady been here some time, and will be un- 
able to delay much longer. He therefore requests your excellency 
to provide the means for himself, and others who are to accompany 
him, to proceed to Hue speedily. For unless, within seven days. 

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pennission be received, from the einperoi', to proceed thither at 
once, the vessel must go to sea. 

** Signed and sealed on board the U. S. ship-of-war Peacock^ in 
the roadstead of Yung-lam, in the province of Fooyan, this thirtieth 
day of January, A. D., 1833, and of independence, the fifty-seventh. 
(Sigiied,) •* EDMUND ROBERTS.'' 

** Andrew Jackson, President of the United States of America, to 

his majesty the emperor of Cochin-China : — 
" Great and good friend — ' 

" This, will be delivered to your majesty by Edmund Roberts, a 
respectable citizen of these United States, who has been appointed 
special agent, on the part of this government, to transact important 
business with your majesty. I pray your majesty to protect him in 
the exercise of the duties which are thus confided to him, and io 
treat him with kindness and confidence ; placing entire reliance 
upon what he shall say to you in our behalf, especially when he 
shall repeat the assurances of our perfect amity and good will 
towards your majesty. I pray God to have you, great and good 
friend, under his safe and holy keeping. 

" Written at the city of Wa&iiington, the twentieth day of Jan- 
uary, A. D. 1833, and in the fifty-sixth year of independence. 
^ Your good and faithfol friend, 

(Signed) « ANDREW JACKSON.* 
« By the President. 

(Signed) " Edward Livingston, Sec^ of State.** 
"The foregoing is a true copy of the original now in my poe- 

(Signed) *^ Edmund Robsbts.'* 

These documents being completed, the packet was sealed np, 
and taken on shore by Mr. Morrison ; but now a new and unex- 
pected difiiculty arose. The letter (which, they were told, though 
addressed to the minister, was intended to be seen by the emperor) 
must be opened, submitted to their inspection, and corrected en- 
tirely acccxding to their taste, ere they would receive or for- 
ward it. 

This unheard-of and arrogant requisition was strongly objected 
to- "What is the cause,** they were asked, "of such behaviour? 

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Here are four officers of whose names and raok we are equaUy 
ignorant. (For their rank they had evaded telling, when asked, 
and their names, though told by two of them, were not suffered to 
be written down.) These officers require full information, respect- 
ing the objects of our mission, and refuse to forward our official ' 
letters. In no other country, we ha?e been to, is an envoy- thus 

With the deputies, however,, nothing that could bo said was of 
any use. They acted apparently cm specific and peremptory 
orders^ and evinced a total disregard for every thing but a com- 
plete concession to all their demands. On the present occasion 
they refused to write an answer to what was said. to them. 
Through die interpreter they repeated the same language they had 
before so often used, respecting their own and the minister's 
anxiety to conclude the business of the mission satisfactorily ; the 
necessity of conforming to the custonu and etiquette of the coun- 
try, and the obstinacy of the envoy, &c. 

" Were a letter," they were asked, "sent to you, would a copy 
be first shown to your servants ?" 

" No," they repHed, " but the case is not parallel. Your envoy 
IS like one standing at the door of a house." 

" Admitting that, suppose me coming to the door of your house, 
on business with you, should I have to inform your servants what 
my business was before I could enter ?" 

The quick little interpreter, Miguel, said that this was agrc;,e- 
able to reason, a point which the deputies were less ready to ad- 
mit -They could not allow the comparison. *^ Such," said they, 
J* are our laws. They miist be implicitly obeyed." 

** Had there been an imperial order," it was resumed, ^ or a writ- 
ten answer firom the minister, then the business of the mission 
might be communicated to you ; but how can it be coronuinicated 
to persons of whose names and rank we are ignorant? The ob- 
jects of the mission have, therefore, been stated in the letter, which 
it will be well for you to forward. This obstinacy in requiring to 
know our objects is insulting." 

Mr. Morrison was now pressed to. return to the ship, to receive 
the envoy's permission for them to see the contents of the packet, 
and correct the phraseology of the letters. Finding them deter- 
mined not to receive it as it was, he accordingly left, after hai^ig 

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800 SMBA^SHT TO THX BAST. [Jwaur. 

repeated the necessity of paying for their presents, should their 
continual opposition cause tiie failure of the mission. They ap- 
peared personally desirous of conciliation, though their national 
vanity and prejudices would not suffer them to see any thing ab- 
surd or improper in the conduct whichtheir orders obliged them 

• to adopt. 

In the. evening Mr. Morrison again went on shwe, with Chinese 
copies of the President's letter to the emperor, and the envoy's 
letter t(> the minister. Having required that the crowd of attend- 
ants, who usually stood round, listening to the conversation, should 
be dismissed, the envoy's letter was shown to the deputies. They 
immediately proceeded to criticise every word and sentence, ma- 
king several alterations and corrections, which, though of small 
importance, and generally unobjectionable, occupied considerable 
time. During the con?ersation, which the remarks, made on vari- 
ous parts of the letter, occasioned, the interpreter IWiguel, appa- 
rently of his own accord, though probably prompted by his em- 
ployers, remarked, that the President was equal to a Jdr^; but 
that the emperor was superior to a king. The natural inference^ 

'that the emperor of Cochin-China is superior to the President of 
the United States, he left to be deduced by others. The remark 
arose from an endeavour, on the part of th^ deputies, to have the 
President's title placed lower than that of the emperor ; not, they 
would have it believed, from an idea of inequality, but on account 
of the humbler style, which they insisted, the writing party must 
adopt in speaking of themselves. The envoy, it was answered, 
had taken that station, which courtesy to the person he addnessed, 
required ; but to place the President lower than the emperor, was 
a point of a different nature— a point which courtesy did not re- 
quire, and which, the President and emperor being in every respect 
equal in rank, could never be complied with. Having at length 
concluded with the letter to the minister, every correction which 
could be considered derogatory or mean having been rejected, the 
deputies now desired to see a copy of the President's letter. This 
was for some time objected to ; and thie impropriety of the de- 
mand, as well as the unpleasantness of compliance pointed out 
They were resolved, however, to see it, and at lenglh'^it was shown 
to them ; but as they were proceeding to make alleralioris in it 
also, they were stopped, and told that the President's letter could 

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IMJ RBMONSTKAlf ex. 207 

not be altered. Without making alterations in it, they insisted that 
the letter could not be forwarded ; nor would they consent to re- 
ceive it at ally unless, after seeing every correction made in both 
letters that they wished, the packet should be sealed before their 
eyes. They were told this want of confidence was offensive, and 
required a similar discredit of their authority, as their names and 
rank were' unknown, and they had shown no credentials. They 
thereupon stated their names and rank, said they had no cre- 
dentials ; and argued that they too had been shown no credentials by 
the envoy. The envoy, it was replied, would show his powers to 
the proper individuals in fit time and place. 

They still insisted on correcting the President's letter. Mr. 
Morrison therefore returned, about nine, P. M., leaving the sealed 
package, addressed to the minister, in charge of the deputies. 

January thirty-first. Mr. Morrison, having made a Copy of the 
envoy's letter to the minister, with the corrections which were last 
night agreed to, as being imnuiterial, repaired on shore, in the fore- 
noon, with authority to make such trivial alterations, in the trans- 
lation of the President's letter, as the deputies might desire. He 
first inquired if the packet that was left on shore had been sent to 
the minister; and was answered, that, not. being corrected, it 
could not be forwarded. The deputies then repeated their un- 
changing expressions of a desire, on the part of the minister who had 
sent them, to arrange matters speedily, and on a friendly footing. 
Such conversation being little hkely to lead to any good result, it 
was avoided ; and they were requested, as they would not forward 
the packet, to return it. This was accordingly done ; and the en- 
velope being removed, the translation of the President's letter was 
laid before them, accompanied with a remonstrance against their 
conduct, in insisting that it should be altered before they would 
foorward it. About two hours were now spent in objecting to par- 
ticular words and sentences, either as being improper and contrary 
to etiquette, or as being unintelligible. They also made particular 
inquiries respecting the original letter, whether it was sealed or 
not, and whether the Chinese translation was signed by the Presi- 
dent. They put some questions, also, respecting the signature of 
the Secretary of State, what was his rank, &c. ; and asked if the 
original letter was kept on board ; and if the one shown to them 
was only a copy. When t<dd, " of course," they said, " that is right.* 

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Among c^er points, they professed not to understand the ex- 
pression, ** Great and good friend ;" and they interpreted it accord- 
ing to their preconceiyed ideas, as a " request for a friendly inter- 
course.*' The expression was explained to them, and shown to be 
perfectly intelligible, (for it was only their astonishment at such 
fimiiliar language, that prevented their understanding it) But 
still they considered it quite inadmissible ; the common word yew^ 
a friend, was unsuitable and improper between two great powers. 
The only thing that would satisfy such hairbreadth distinguishers, 
was to say, " Your country and mine have amicable intercourse." 
Wherever the simple and common word I (wo) occurred, it became 
necessary to substitute some other word, having a similar meaning, 
(as pirn.) And for he or Am, (ta,) referring to the envoy, they 
required in substitution of kae-yucn, "the said officer." Where 
the President says, " I pray your majesty to protect him, and to 
treat him with kindness and confidence," they wished to introduce 
a request for " deep condescension" on the part of the emperor, 
which was rejected ; and, to satisfy them, a slight change was 
made in the phraseology of the translation,' but without permitting 
any thing servile. The President's letter concludes with this ex- 
pression : — " I pray God to have you always, great and good friend, 
under his safe and holy keeping." This they wished to change 
into a prayer to " imperial heaven, for the continual peace of your 
majesty^ sacred person." In opposition to this proposed change, 
which would present the President in the light of an idolater, the 
Christian notion of the Deity, as " one God, the Supreme Ruler 
of heaven and earth, of the nations and their sovereigns," was 
explained to them ; and the divinity of heaven and earth, believed 
by the Chinese and Cochin-Chinese, was denied. They then pro- 
posed, by another change of th^ term used to express the Deity, 
to make the President pray to the " Gods of heaven.'^ But this 
point they were obliged also to give up. 

Having' thus gone over the whote letter, without the admission 
of any degrading terms, though some expressions which they 
wished to have adopted were still of a doubtful nature, they were 
informed, that if, after consideration, it should appear right to make 
the proposed alterations, a copy would be taken on shore in the 
evening. As they insisted on having the packet closed before their 
eyes, it was agreed that the despatch should then be sealed up^ 

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and given them to forward to the Minister.- But they were not yet 
satisfied. After suffering the letter to the minister to pass muster, 
(which they did with some reluctance,) they re-examined the Pres* 
ident's letter, and pointed out how much the words, empeioiv 
Cochin-China, &c., should, as indicative of respect, be elevated 
above the head margin of the page ; and finally, they decided that 
it would be very improper, for the President ta address his letter 
simply to the empercMr, (te che ;) it must, they said, be transmitted 
either with silent awCj (suh te,) or with uplifted hands^ (fung, or 
te shang) — terms in frequent use among the Chinese, and their 
humble imitators, the Cochin-Chinese, in addresses from subjects 
to their sovereigns. These expressions were, therefore, rejected, 
and Mr. Morrison returned, on boaxd, to consider the other ex- 
pressions, and explain them to the env6y. They were told that a 
translation must be faithful to the original. They said it should 
give the sense without adhering ta the words of the original. This 
was admitted ; but if a different tone were adopted, they were told, 
the sense could not be preserved* 

Shortly after Mr. Monrison had reached the ship, he was fol- 
lowed by one of the deputies, the other being kept back probably 
by his liability to sea-sicImesB. The former came furnished with 
written directions, to which he at times referred, having neglected 
to gain satisfactory knowledge of two important points, viz.: — 
whether theie were any presents for the emperor, ** as a token of 
sincerity;" and whether the envoy was prepared to submit to the 
etiquette of the court, at an audience of the emperor — this point 
being rendered very doubtful by tha previous resistance shown to 
their numerous requisitions. 

In reply to the first question, the depu^ was told, that as the 
subject was not mentioned in the letter from the President, it was 
unnecessary to refer to it| before the conclusion of a ticaty. 
Should the emperor desnre anything particular^ it might be sent at 
his request 

Deputy. ** The emperor's coffers are full and overflovnng, well 
jHTovided with every thing curious and valuable ; how can he de* 
sire any thing from you ? But you have cotne to seek trade and 
intercourse. Although the emperor is tender and kind to strangers^ 
and willing to admit them — yet, consider, if it appears weU to 
come without presents and empty handed.'' 


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Envoy. '' My country asks no fayours or * tenderness' from any ; 
but I desire to know how the emperor is wilKng to admit oar 
merchams to trade ; whether on the same footing as the Chinese, 
ScCf or not. Our ships are found erery where, but we seek favours 
from none." 

Dep. " I have heard that it is customary among the nations of the 
west, to send presents, when seeking intercourse with the do- 
minions of others. On this account I ask the question, not because 
the emperor wants any thipg," 

Envoy. " As the emperor does not want presents, why do you 
speak of them ? Should a treaty be concluded, this is a minor 
matter, which can then be spoken of; but which does not require 
any previous attention." To this the deputy assented. 

The ceremony of presentation was easily dismissed, by inform- 
ing the deputy, that nothing beyond a bow, as to the President, 
would be performed. The ceremony- of the country was then 
asked. He said, that it was to make five prostrations, touching 
the ground with the forehead ; and asked if five distinct bows 
would be acceded to without the prostrations. . To this the envoy 
replied, yes ; he would make five, ten, or as many bows as they 
desired ; but the kneeling posture is beccxning only in the worship 
of the Creator. 

The deputy now urged the necessity of proper regard being paid 
to the elevation of the words emperor, Cochin^China, &c., and to 
the use of " humble and decorous expressions." To this advice 
he endeavoured to give greater force, by saying, that in the cor- 
respondence held by the kings of An-nam, before the assumption 
of the present title of emperor, such humble phraseology was made 
use of. This argument would imply infericMrity in the President, 
to one who bears the high title of emperor, and was, therefore,^ in- 
stantly repelled as insulting. The deputy denied its being insult- 
ing, jaaaintained the propriety of his argument, aiid insisted on the 
use, at the commencement of the President's letter, of one or other 
of the derogatory terms already mentioned, viz. : that the letter 
was sent with '' silent awe," or that it was presented with "tip. 
lifted hands^ He was admonished not to repeat so insulting a 
demand 4 for that the President stands on a footing of perfect 
equality with the highest emperor, and cannot, therefore, use any 
term that niay make him appear in the light of one inferior to the 

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emperor of Cocbin-China. The same term, it was added, will be 
used as it is used in the letter from the envoy to the minist^, 
which term implies eciuality, without any disrespectful arrogatio>n 
at iL Such demands, he was told, far from being amicable, were 
of a very, unfriendly nature. 

In reply, he said, that unless this requisition was complied with, 
he and his fellow-ofiScers dare not forward the despatch, enclosing 
the copy of the President's letter, nor dare they, he added, forward 
the letter to the minister, without the President's letter, although 
the mention made in it of the latter should be erased. As this de« 
termination left no alternative, but complete failure or dishonom** 
able concessions, he was required to repeat the refusal, which he 
did more than once, and then returned to the shore. 

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Two days haTing elapsed) on the third of February, without any 
official intercourse with the shore, the junior deputy again appeared ; 
his colleague still remaining on shore on account of sickness. The 
professed object of his coming, was a mere yisit ; the reed one, to 
propose another word to be used at the commencement of the 
President^! letter, if the words previously suggested would not be 
adopted. This word was kin, implying reverence, solemnity, and 
veneraticm, &c., not differing materially from that which had before 
been proposed : it was also rejected. The expression as it already 
stood, contained, he was told, nothing disrespectful, and was a 
plain and simple version of the original. He was determined, 
however, that without the adoption of some derogatory expression, 
the letter should not be sent on to Hu6 ;. so that the business of 
the mission remained at a stand. 

The deputy now shifted his position, as indeed none, of his fel- 
lows scrupled to do when needful, by adopting a false assertion : 
" While on shore," he said, " every word was assented to ; why 
is the use of these words now reused?" This shows the con* 
venient deafness or forgetfiihiess, which these little-minded poli- 
ticians can assume, when occasion requires ; for it had been specifi- 
cally stated, that not a word would be altered without farther 
consideration, and the permission of the envoy. 

Thus baffled, he said that the obstinate determination of the en- 
voy left him at a loss in what way to act. 

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" There is bur one way," be was answered, " in wbicb yoa can 
act. Take die President's letter without these alterations. If you 
insist on them, the btisiness of the mission is at an end. The yes- 
sel will, howerer, stay the time already ngientioned, till she is quite 
ready to leave. But you must not suppose she can wait to receiTe 
farther refiisals to fresh applicatio&s for penmssion to go to Hu^." 

When leaving, it was carelessly said to him, that as he had said 
American vessels were at liberty to trade, he should give a copy 
of the regulations of commerce. This he refused. 

The next day, some similar questions respecting commerce, 
which were asked during-a sboit complimentary visit, were received 
uncourteously, and answered by the deputies with professions of 

February ieverUh. Eight days having now elapsed since the 
return of die deputies to Hu^, and nothing having been heard rela- 
tive to the mission, the two remaining deputies were informed, that 
the Yessel would go to sea on the morrow ; and Mr. Morrison was 
about to pay a farewell visit, and urge the receipt of payment for 
the refreshments, at different times sent .off, when the younger 
deputy came on board. 

After a few compliments had passed, he was told, that if the 
wind were favourable, the ship would go to sea in the moniing. 
He was asked, also, if there was any news. 

The native Christian, Miguel, before interpretingwhat was said, 
asked if the ship would not wait till something was heard from 
Hu^. But the deputy, who was more cautious of expressing his 
feelings, simply replied, that he had no news. Had he heard 
from Hu^, he would immediately have come to report the news. 
He requested that no offence would be taken, nor any unpleasant 
feeling be entertained, on account of the manner in which the mis- 
sion left ; as the failure was entirely owing to the difference of 
custom in the two countries. He hoped that all imfriendliness 
would be dismissed, and that American vessels would fr^uentthe 
Cochin-Chinese harbours, as much as if the mission had succeeded. 

In reply to what he said respecting the difference of customs, he 
was told, that it could not be the custom of the country to exact 
professions of inferiority from other countries, as the minister had 
endeavoured to do in the present instance. The emperor, he said, 
would have used the same phraseology, as that proposed to be 

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iml JAIIUKB OF lil$aiON. 215 

Hsed in the I^ter, if 'Addressing, by bis envoyy the Pre«ident of the 
United Slates. This, he was told, would not be dewed in. the 
United States ; and, on the contsary, w«i%ild oidy be subject to 
ridicule. He replied : " Though you aiight not require it, oar cus* 
toms would !? It wa» rejoined : '' Since you would adhere to your 
own. customs, if on a mission \t^ the United States, it stands to : 
reascxa that the envoy of the United States should adhere to his 
customs here.** 

He now shifted his ground, and, while admitting that the ex- 
pression proposed was a strong one, maintained, nevertheless, that 
it was not indicative of inferiority. Its use, by inferiors in addres- 
sing their superiors, was pointed out to him ; and he was asked, 
why, as the word first used was far from disrespectful, he should 
wish it to be dialled? being, at the dame time, again assured, 
that the words he had suggested, should not be adopted. '' If you 
have so determined," he rejoined, ^ I cannot receive this letter. 
But though the mission fail, that will not prevent your vessels 
coming to trade.^ 

''The irade," it was replied, "is on so bad a footing, the regu- 
Uttions being unknown, and the government-charges and duties 
uAasceitained, that vessels cannot come here." 

'' All nations that come here," he answered, '' for instance, the 
]Coglish and French, are on the same footing with you. They do 
not inquire about the laws ; and none dare extent from them more 
than the regular charges." 

''This," he was told, "is not true; for the Chinese are on a 
different footing, being able to go to many places where the En- 
^ish and French caimot.go. England and France have' endeav- 
oured to form treaties, but without success. "We know the regu- 
lations of the English and French trade, but do not know any for 
the American trade : hence our mission." 

Being thus driven from one untenable position to another, he at 
length pleaded ignorance. Admitting the fact, that the Chinese 
are allowed to trade in Tonquin and other places, he however 
knew only the regulations of Hu£ and Turan, and knew nothing of 
the laws in other places. 

" The mission," it was answered, " is not sen,t to you, but to 
the emperor. He knows what the regulations are in every place." 

" Tl^ minister," he repliedi " would know all, if the letter were 

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316 EMBASSY TO THB SAST. Cnhraur. 

sent to Hue: but without the change of phraseology aht^ady 
pointed out, it could not be sent. The earoys of Burmah and 
Siamliaye used the same exptesstons as those proposed to you* 

** This,** he was answered, ** can be of no avail with tl^e envoy 
of the United States. If the envoys of Burmah and Siam have 
assented, either ignorantly or with full knowledge, to adopt ez- 
pressicHis of a servile nature, that can have no influence od this 

^ Without the letter,** repeated the deputy, ** the minister cannot 
report to the emperor." 

Envoy. " If he will, he can.*' 

Dep. ** As I have not received any notice from Hu^ I cannot 
say what he has done." 

Envoy. ** Eight days have elapsed since the two deputies have 
returned to the capital." 

Dep» " Only five days have elapsed isince your last letter to 
the minister was shown us." 

The deputy was now requested to receive payment for the re- 
freshments sent to the envoy and the ship, as it was unpleasant to 
accept any thing in tlie form of presents, the envoy not having ob- 
tained the objects of his mission. He was urged not to refusfe 
payment, imd assured that the envoy was sony he was obliged to 
leave, without having brought about a friendly intercourse between 
the two nations. He refused, however, all payment as strenuously 
as it was urged upon him. The things, he said, were mere trifles, 
and he could not accept any thing for them. Nor in this did he 
say wrong ; for they probably cost the government very much less 
than their re&l value, small as that was. 

Before leaving, the deputy drank the health of the President ; 
and the health of the emperor of Cochin-Chiila was drunk in re- 
turn. He then took leave^ wishing us health and a pleasant voy- 
age, and a speedy return. He was thanked and told that he must 
not expect to see us again. 

The next morning, the ship got under weigh ; and though all 
day slowly beating out of ^ the harbour, no^ng more vras seen of 
the Cochin-Chinese. 

During the discussion with the Mandarins relative tO the letter 
which was to be written to the nsinister, I refused to consider him 
in any other light than my equal m rank, as they were so strongly 

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disposed to exalt him, and debase me if possible. The deputies 
exjNressed some surprise al this obseryation, and demanded upon 
what ground I claimed an equality with them ; they were answer- 
ed, as the representative of an independent power. They then 
asked what were my tides ; if they were of as much importance 
as theminiater's^andif they were as. numerous. They were told 
that there was no order of nobility in the United States, and so 
they had been previously informed; still they insisted that there 
must be something equivalent to it, and that, as I held an impor- 
tant office under the government, I should not be without titles of 
some sort. Finding the gentlemen were so extr^nely desirous 
that I should have an appendage to ipy name, and as they would 
not be satisfied with a denial, I at once concluded to humour them. 
I replied that I would comply with their wishes, and furnish them 
with the greatest abundance of titles. As they had been extreme- 
ly unwilling to give the. titles of the emperor or the minister, or 
their own, they probably concluded that I was actuated by the 
same motives as themselves in withholding mine, whatever they 
were. The gentlemen belonging to the ship who were in the 
cabin, looked very much astonished at this reply, wondering how 
I was to extricate myself from this seeming difficulty ; but they 
were speedily relieved. The principal deputy having prepared 
his Chinese pencil and half a sheet of paper, sat down to write. I 
immediately observed to him, that it was necessary to conunence 
with a whole sheet, at which he expressed some surprise, and 
said that the minister's titles would not occupy one fourth of 
it. Having detenniiied to give them, in the first pUce, the names 
of all the counties, and the two hundred and odd towns in my na^ 
live state, as well as the mountains, rivers, and lakes, which would 
supply the places of titles, and then, if they were not satisfied, to 
proceed in the same manner with all the other states in the Union, 
which, by giving first the names of the several states, then the 
comities, towns, &c., would probably occupy them for some days, 
if they had had sufficient perseverance to proceed to the end Gt 
what / intended should be endless. I then commenced as fol- 
lows, Mr. Morrison acting as interpreter and frequently translator : 
Edmund Roberts, a special envoy from the United States, and a 
citizen of Portsmouth, in the s^ate of New Hampshire. I then 
proceeded with the counties of Rockingham, Strafford, Merrimack, 

28 . 

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Hillsborough, Grafton, Cheshire, Sullivan, and Coos. When he 
had written thus fax, which occupied much time, owing to the al- 
most insurmountable difficulties in rendering them into Chinese, 
he expressed strong signs of impatience and asked if there 'were 
any more ; I requested him not to be impatient, as I was very de- 
sirous that not one should be omitted, as it was a piatter of pri- 
mary importance in all governments where titles were used. He 
reroaiked, that already they were greater in number than were pos- 
sessed by any prince of the empire. However, he dipped his pen- 
cil in the ink, and recommenced as follows : I first took Gosport, 
in the Isles of Shoals, being farthest at sea, and then went on with 
the towns on the seacoast; with Hampton and Seabrook, Rye 
and New Castle, and then Newington, Stratham, and Exeter. 
Having proceeded thus far, and finding difficulties succeeding diffi- 
culties, at every syllable and at every word, he laid down his pen- 
cil, seemingly exhausted, and asked if there were any more, as he 
had then filled a . sheet of Chinese paper.. I answered, he had 
scarcely made a commencement : at this he said it was unneces- 
sary to record the rest ; and that he never heard or read of any 
person possessing a like number. He complained of a headache 
and sickness, owing to the rolling of the diip. I then begged he 
would desist, for that time, and call on board as early as he could 
make it convenient on the following morning, for I was exceeding- 
ly anxioiis he should have them a//; then there would be no hesi- 
tation in acknowledging that I was not presumptuous, when I 
stated that the prime minister could not be considered my su- 
perior in point of rank, as he did not possess so many titles. It 
was now very evident that he began to be alarmed at the extent of 
my tides, lest they should totaUy eclipse those of the minister, 
and that I might be desirous of ascending a step higher than his 
excellency. He replied that he was fully satisfied that I was 
everyway equal to hini in point of rank. I urged him to proceed, 
but without effect, for he refused very firmly, but politely, and 
therefore most reluctantly I was obliged to accede to his wishes. 

The whple scene was certainly most ludicrous. Some of the 
gentlemen could with much difficulty restrain their risible faculties, 
while others walked out of the cabin, being utterly unable to re- 
frain from laughter, while I kept a most imperturbable countenance 
until the whole matter was concluded. I renewed the attempt the 

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next morning, ^hen he came on board, but he looked quite aghast 
at the mere request, and thus ended this farcical scene. 

It may be thought by those who are for submitting to every 
species of degradation, to gain commercial advantages, that I was 
unnecessarily fastidious in the course I adopted in the negotiation 
with Cochin-China ; but when it is.khown that there is no end to 
the doctrine of submission with the ultra-Gangetic nations ; and all 
past negotiations of European powers will fully confirm what I 
now state, that neither privileges, nor immunities, nor advantages 
of any kind, are to be gained by submission, condescension, con- 
ciliation, or by flattery, (they despise the former as a proof of 
weakness — the latter as arguing a want of spirit ;) that threats and 
aggressions are neither justifiable nor necessary, a dignified, yet 
unassuming conduct, jealous of its own honour, open and disin- 
terested, seeking its own advantage, but willing to promote that of 
others, will doubtless effect much with nations of this stamp and 
character, and must in the end be able to accomplish the object 

Previous to visiting Cochin-China, I had laid down certain rules 
of conduct, which I had resolved to adopt towards these' people, as 
well as the Siamese. In the first place, I had determined to ad- 
here most strictly to the truth, however detrimental it might be to 
the interest of our conunexce at present^ or however unpalatable it 
^ight be to either of the nations. I had further resolved, not to 
submit to any degrading cei'emonies, by performing the Ko-tow, 
uncovering the feet, &c., ice, My answer to such requisitions 
would be : We do not come here to change the customs of your 
court with its own statesmen, but we come as independent people, 
for a short interview. Let your statesmen preserve their customs, and 
we will preserve ours. Still, it may be answered : You come to us, 
we do not go to you : my reply then would be : When you come 
to us, you shall be allowed your own customs, in the mode of 
presentation to the President. Reasoning with these people, 
must not be founded on the ground of lord and vassal, but reci- 
procity. National usages should be avoided as much as possible^ 
and natural -reason^ common sense, the reciprocal rights of men, 
be taken as the foundation of intercom-se. There is no end to the 
doctrine of stibmission to lawy vhere every worthless justice of 
peace tells you with a baxe-faced lie in his mouth, that his* will and 

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present declaration are the law of the land. Seeing the gro^ im** 
positions practised) by i^parently friendly nations, with other 
negotiators, I had further determined neTer to repose any con- 
fidence in their advice, but to let my own judgment be the guide 
of what was just and right. Furthermore, to be kind and courteous 
to all ; but after some little formahties, to reveal as little to inferior 
oflicers as possible ; and lastly, to use some state and show, as 
they are useful auxiliaries in making an impression upon the un- 
civilized mind. 

I deem it best, here to remark, that in my negotiati<9is with 
Asiatics, all, apparent acknowledgments of inferiority, which pre- 
cedes signatures to letters, as *^ your humble servant,'* &c., are 
always construed literally, and of course have an iiyurious effect 
upon a conceited and arrogant people ; and great nicety should be 
observed in preparing documents on parchment, to which should 
be attached a large seal, incased in a gold box, having the envelope 
of rich yellow silk or satin, or otherwise it will give offence. 

To all outward appearance the country surrounding this noble 
bay is in a hi^y flourJBhing condition, but on a more close exami- 
nation this beautiful vision is not realized. The inhabitants are 
-without exception the most filthy people in the world. As soon as 
the boat touches the strand, out msh firom their palm-leaf huts, men 
and women, and naked children and dogs, all having a mangy ap- 
pearance ; being covered with some scorbutic disease, the itch or 
'Small-pox, and frequently with white leprous spots. The teeth, 
even of the children who are seyen or eight years old, are of a coal 
black, their lips and gums are deeply stained with chewing areca, 
&c., their faces are nasty, their hands unwashed, and their whole 
persons most offensive to the sight and smell ; for the most part the 
comb has never touched the children-^ heads, and a whole village 
may be seen scratching at the same time from head to foot. They 
are apparently brought up in utter idleness ; not a school is to be 
•found, and they are seen playing all day long at hide-and-go-seek 
under the boats, lounging among the palm-trees, or sleeping on the 
bare ground in the shade or sun, as they find it most convenient. 
The dress of the men and women is nearly the same, being a 
wide long shirt, buttoned generally on the right side, with a pair of 
short simple trousers, made of cotton. Those who are aUe, wear 
a turban of black crape, and eveiy man who makes any pretensions 

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to gentility, has a pair of reticules or broad-mouthed purses, in 
which he puts areca and tobacco : these are thrown over the shoul* 
ders, and are generally neatly made ; some are wrought extensively 
in gold, some embroidered with silk ; others are of plain silk or sat* 
in, and generally of their favourite colour, bine : those of an ordi- 
tuary kind are worn about the waist, or carried in the hand. But 
the dress of nineteen twentieths of the inhabitants is merely a 
waist-clodi, which is kept in a most filthy condition. 

In the course of a whole month, the period of our residence 
here, I have not seen a person bathe, alUioug)^ beaches abound 
every where : the Cochin-Chinese appear to have an utter aver- 
sion to cleanliness, and one would be apt to infer that they all had 
a touch of the hydrophobia,, firom their aversion to water. From 
the highly flourishing appearance of the land, the immense numbes 
of fishing and coasting boats constantly employed, it would be rea* 
sonable to conclude that great quantities of sugar, coffee, cotton 
and fish were exported, and that provisions of all kinds could be 
had in abundance ; but such is not the fact : firom one to three small 
miserable junks, firom .the island of Hainan, visit here aimuallyi 
bringing coarse tea and some paper, and' take m return, ground** 
nut-oil, a small quantity of wax, and some colambac, here called 
kinam ; being a resinous aromatic concretion, and generally said 
to be taken firom the heart of the aloe wood. Sapan wood is oc- 
casionally to be bought. The terrace culture is resorted to, in rais* 
ing upland rice. - In fact, not enough rice is raised for the use of 
the inhabitants, and they are obliged to import part of this neces- 
sary article of food firom Nhiatrang, and other parts of the kingdom. 

Their mode of fireeing rice firom the husk, is by means of a 
long beam having a pestle at one extremity ; the beam plays on a 
pivot secured between two parallel upright posts, a large mortal 
being firmly fixed in the ground; the beam is elevated by the ope* 
rater placing his foot upon the other end ; this is a primitive, and a 
very slow method of fireeing the husk firom the kernel, and it causes 
it to be much broken. Indian com appears to thrive well, but they 
obtsun but a scanty supply : if more attention was paid to agricul- 
ture, and a less number of people were employed in fishing, ex- 
ports to a large amount might be made within a few yejurs ; they 
import rice and tea, when they might raise both in abundance, as 
well as coffee. 

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222 EMBASSY TO THE EAST. tRbwtfy. 

Elephants appear to be used here for dofhestic purposes ; they 
are said to be found in great numbers. Buflfaloes, having a hiunp 
between the fore shoulders, are used in the plough as well as. the 
common ox ; the price given for the former for the use of the ship, 
has been from ten to fifteen dollars. A sniall fleet horse^ or rather 
pony, is here much used, the price being about twenty quans, equal 
to eleven dollars. Fowls, ducks and pigs, are by no^ means plen- 
tiful, and are only bought at high prices ; they wiD offer two, three 
or four of the two fonner for a Spanish doHar or for a couple of 
common jackknives, which they much prefer. The fruits which 
have been thus far offered for sale, are the custazd-aj^le and the 
jack, iimes^ oranges, pomegranates, watermefons, lemons of im* 
mense size, and a great variety of the plantain and banana, in one 
kind of which I found a great many seeds; they were disposed 
of in horizontal layers in six compartments, having » small pith 
running through them ; there are about fifty seeds in each, of an 
irregular shape, pointed slightly; aad white at die apex ; immedi- 
ately beneath them was a black ring, extending about one fourth of 
the way down. Never having seen any seed-bearing plantain, I 
am induced to note it; when ripe, the outside is of a reddish 
yellow, and the fruit pleasant to the taste. The vegetables are few 
in number, and all we have yet seen, are beans, the egg'-plant, and 
the sweet potato. 

Great caire appears to be taken of the remains of the dead — some 
are placed in tombs of stone, neatly built and plastered, having a 
small wicker-work house placed in the cetitre— others are deposit- 
ed in a common grave, having a basket-work roof which is placed 
there to protect them from vrild beasts. The inhabitants are civil, 
but sometimes troublesome in approaching too near — ^they seem 
desirous of handling every part of the dress — but the sad condition 
they are in, inakes it necessary frequently to use coercive measures 
to keep them at a wholesome distance. The naval button, with an 
eagle and an anchor on it, demands univetsal admiration. A few 
small junks are built of wood and many are repaired at Vimglam. 
Fishing occupies a large portion of the time of the inhabitants, and 
from one hundred to one hundred and fifty boats are seen issuing 
out of the bay every morning at sunrise from the various villages. 
Some of them carry lug sails, and others are of a triangular 
shape, dec., &c., and some have two masts and others three ; the 

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largest mast being stepped in the centre, the next being equi-distant 
between that and the smallest one, which is stepped as near to the 
bows as possible ; the sail on the middle mast is less than one half 
the size of the mainmast, and the forward one about half the size of 
the second. They are built very sharp forward ; the bottom is of 
basket-work, very closely woven, and stretched on a frame, and 
dammer or pitch is used freely both within, and without ; the upper 
works are of wood, and oil is frequently applied to the bottom. 
There are a few built entirely of wood and very little iron, be« 
ing generally tree-nailed on to the timbers. The sails are of mat- 
ting, neatly woven, and generally well cut in a seamanlike manner. 
The cables are of cocoa-nut fibres, and the anchors of a species of 
xery heavy wood. Chunam is used on the vessels, having wooden, 
bottoms ; and the upper works are blacked vnth a substance resem- 
bling Jacquer. The largest class may carry forty or fifty tons. 

Trees of a large growth are very scarce, being cut away to the 
topa of the highest hills ^ they are therefore obliged to resort fur- 
ther inland for ship-timber ; a few planks of forty feet in length 
and about four inches in thickness, oi a very hard wood, were seen 
in the ship-yards, sawed out quite roughly. Temples or houses 
for religious worship and priests, there are none ; they are said to 
be prcme to superstitious rites — this assertion has been fully confirm- 
ed in many instances. 

In passing along between the village of Vunglam and the beach, 
I saw a shed erected, having within it some characters written on 
a board resembling the Chinese, but being blended so much togeth- 
er, they could not be understood; tlie picture of a frightful object 
was also there. A Chinese, who was with us, said it was placed 
there to guard against evQ spirits, which greatly infested that place. 
In another part of the village was erected a similar shed, under 
which was a board, On which was inscribed in Chinese characters, 
only the word (xod^ it therefore reminded me at once of what St. 
Paul found written on an ahar at Athens, " To the unknown God.** 
I suppose those more jrefined barbarians and these poor Cochin- 
Chinese, are alike ignorant of Him who made and governs all 
filings. Traversing the beach near Vung-chow, we saw a small 
cell erected on posts, in the middle of a grove of trees ; looking in- 
to it, we found tyo chalk-fish painted green, suspended firom the 
coo^ and spme pots containing half-btbmt joss-sticks. When they 

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wish for success in. fishing, offering? are made to the presiding De* 
ity. > Great quantities of sea-shells were scattered about the place, 
and fires were evidently frequently made ; thus they preswt the 
essence of their feasts only to the Neptunian Deity, while the pi^ 
ous derotee devours the substance. In another similar place about 
four miles from thence, we found anothw cell or box erected on 
posts, but it was more neatly constructed — ^in il were two paintings 
in water colours, evidently Chinese, each having one large and two 
small female figures ; before theni were half-burnt incense rods and 
on one side a horse's head veraj^ped in a cloth, which, on opeoiag, 
we found filled with maggots: a great number of smaU green j^azed 
pots were scattered about. 

Tigers abound throu j^out the country : a few nights irince one 
came into the village of Vunglam, and carried off into the jungle a 
good-sized pig. The woods abound with wild hogs, goats, d^er, 
peacocks,, &c., &c^ and the wild elephant is also abundant in the 
forests. About two miles firom hence is a large barrack, contain-^ 
ing a number of soldiers : the only arm I have yet semi them to 
possess is a very long spear, having a smiJI flag or tassel attached 
to it. I was introduced to an old man, the commander of two 
thousand, the other day ; himself and attendants were os^ horses of 
a small size, or rather ponies ; they sat (hq saddles of a pecidiar 
construction, the hinder, part being the lowest; the saddle-clotb 
being fancifully painted* a r(^ used instead of a bit and faridle^.and 
a string of small ornamented bells placed around the neck : the 
commander vras dressed in a long robe of blue satin, and wore' a 
black crape turban. He endeavoured to show every civility by dis-/ 
mounting and waking. 

It has been heretofore stated, ^at, after repeated requests, we 
returned the ceremonious calls of two of the nmndarins. On ap<- 
preaching the house, towards the outer gate, we found twelve long 
spears, bearing small flags, placed perpendicularly in the ground^ 
in two lines. ^ A wattled fence separated the dwelling from the 
beach : in passing through the outward entrance, we found a short 
neat avenue, of the graceful areca-pahn, intertwined with the piper- 
betel leaf. We then passed through the inner entrance to the courts 
yard, which was in neat order. The mandarins received us witb 
much politeness : a temporary arbour had been erected, and a table 
spread> having oh it rice-wine, cakes, sweetmeats^ fruita— tea being 

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n»1 XAMDARIKS* HoxrsB. S25 

also served. At ea^h end of the arbour, were suspended, from the 
roof, two elegantly embroidered cloths, having silk tassels ani 
worked lappels : Chinese characters were wrought cfn them, the 
purport of which could not be ascertained, as they were so much 
blended together. Two brass tripods, for burning incense, were 
placed on^ the table, ornamented widi a lion couchant, from the 
mouth of which and the open-work cover, issued the grateful per«> 
fume of the kinnam or calembac, which was bept well replenished. 
Paper cig&rs,>pipe8, and areca, completed the regale. The house 
was of brick, with a neat tiled roof. Flowers, in pots, were neatly 
arranged around the court-yard. 

Many of tlie natives stood looking oii, and behaved with perfect 
propriety. The mandarin, or chief of the vfllage of Vung-lam, who 
paid us the first visit on our arrival, was in attendance, standing at 
my left hand, and served us, in common with the interpreter. 
The mandarins were dressed in. their robes of ceremony. Three 
houses occupied as many sides of the court-yard. T%e mandarins 
and guards attended us to oiu boats. 

When the discussion was going on relative to the letter to the 
minister, which occupied many hours, they finally approved of 
every sentence, and every word, except *^ friendly^ which they 
thdught was rather too familiar a word to be used between nations ; 
and Uierefore they proposed substituting the wmd ^ neighbourly,** 
which would read, '* neighbourly intercourse." Seeing that I was 
rather amused at th6 proposed alteration, they were desirous of 
knowing the cause. Being told, that, as we lived some twenty 
thousand miles apart, we could not hpkl a ^ery neighboiurly inter^ 
course, they were much amused by the gross blunder committed 
by their ignorance, and replied, it was very true, and therefore they 
would be satisfied with the word friendly, as proposed, by me. 
They were not aware, however, of the distance between the two 
countries, neither did they know the situation of North America, 
but supposed it to be in Europe, as we afterward ascertained. 

When they take leave, they always place our right hand between 
theirs, bow their heads very slowly, and as low down as possible. 

The government of Cochin-China is thoroughly despotic, being 
framed in close imitation of that of China. The sovereign, who, 
till lately, bor^ the title of king, and who still pa3rs a nominal 
tribute to Chinaimder that title, assumes, among l^s own subjects, 


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226 BKBASSY TO THE X^ST. CPebtany. 


and with all foreign countries, except China, the Chinese title of 
hwarig-te, (or emperor,) with the peculiar attribute, " sacred»' 
" divine,*^ &c., commonly used by the court of Peking. The name, 
or epithet, by which the present monarch is designated, (which 
name ,was taken by the monarch liitnself, at his accession to the 
throne,) is ming-ming; it signifies, ^' emperor appointed by the 
brflUant decree of heaven." 

According to the account of the deputies, who yisited the ship at 
Yung-lam, the administration is also formed in imitaticm of the 
Chinese — consisting of a council of four principal, and two second- 
ary ininisters. The chief of these, (whom Mr. Crawford, th» 
British envoy, calls the minister of elephants, or of strangers,) was 
said to l>e the minister of commerce, navigation, &c. 
• The provincial government is also formed in imitation of the 
Chinese. Two or more provinces are governed by>a toung-tuh, 
(tsong-dok,) or governor ; under whom, the principal officers, in 
each province, are two, viz. : a pooching*sze, (bo-chang-sze,) or 
treasurer and land-officer ; and an anchasze, or judge. Subordinate 
to these, are magistrates, called che-foos, che-keens, &c., presiding 
over the districts into which each province is divided. In Cochift* 
China, as in China, there are nine grades of rank, each of which is 
divided into a principal and secondary classt Every officer, em- 
ployed in the government, is of one of these grades : thus, the 
ministers of the council are of the first grade, principal class ; and 
the governors of provinces, are of the first grade, secondary class. 

This is all thfe information respecting the government of Cochin* 
China, that could be obtained from the natives. 

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We weighed anchor on the eighth of February, for the gulf of 
Siam; light winds and calms , detained us nearly two days, withii\ 
sight of the bay, in which lies Vunglam, &c., Sec. We kept near 
to the coast, and found it bold and free from dangers ; the land 
was hilly and frequently broken into mountains, more particularly 
between that bold promontory, called Cape Varela, and Cape 
Padaran. We passed the latter within three milesj from thence 
the land gradually dwindled into a gently undulating countiy, and 
then into low land. We finally lost sight' of it off the numerous 
mouihs of the great liver, Kamboja. On the same afternoon, be- 
ing the twelfth, we passed Padaran, and saw Pulo Cica de Teirre 
and Lagan point. At meridian,^. on the following day, Pulo Con- 
dore was in sight,- and the islands to the westward, called the 
Brothers. At daylight, the next morning, we beheld Pido Ubi, 
or Yam island, which > lies to the southward ot cape Camboja'. Oa 
die fourteenth, the islands and isIets^ oaQed Pulo Panjang, and 
ascertained their correct position to be iQ latitude 9^ north, by a 
meridian observation, and by die chronometers, in 104^ 3S^, east 
longitude. At daylight, on the following moiniog, we found our« 
self es in the nfidst of a group of islandSf lying so peacefully 
amid the glassy mirfiace of the gulf, that Dana*^ beautifiil descrip- 
tion of ^* Quiet Islands,** was at once brought to my recoUectiobi 
from which I hsTe made the following eitraot :-^ 

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«< TIm itUnd Has nine letgoM Aw»y» 

Along Us flotitixy ahon, 

Of cnggjF rocks and sandy bay, 

No sound but oceian's roar, 

Save wliero th« bold, wild sea-bird makes her hM»e^ 

Her fhfili ciy, coming thi«o^ tbe spaikling foam ; 


** Bat when the light winds lie at xest, 
AikL on the glassy, heaving sea, 
The black duck, with hor glossy breasl^ 
Sits swinging silentky, 
How beautiful ! no ripples break the reech» 
And silreiy waves roll noiseless up the beach.** 

These islands are uninhabited, excepting wh^ they are used as a 
place of resort by Malay pirates. They are six in number, and m 
rocky islet. As they are not laid down in any of our charts, they 
were named the " Woodbiny Group/^ in honour of my friend, ihe 
Honourable I^evi Woodbury, the secretory of the nayy. Tha 
northernmost island was called .*' Geisinger;^ the mosi southern 
and eastern, " RobetU ;" the centre one, between the two^ " Pu^ 
€Ock ;'* and that one lying fiEurtheet to the westward, and neady in 
latitude of Roberts island, was named *' Boxer r** the others were 
left unnamed. Their latitudes and longitudes, from three chro- 
Bometers imd a meridian observation, are as foHows : — ^Two of 
them are about two milef long ; on^ is in latitude l(P W N^ and 
longitude, 102^ 43" E^ and the other in l(P 7' and 103^. Two small 
islands wad a rocky islet to ibt westward of them, lie in 10^ S9^ 
«Bd 103^. Two jiarrow islands^ four or fire miles in length, one 
in latitude 10^ 19" and 103^ 12" E^ and the othev in 1(F 15^ and 
103^ %V E. On the stxieenth Fet^ruary, at noon, we were abreast 
«f cape Liant and the its vidnity ; the latter are hi^ 
and boU -oi approach. Their latitude and longitude are laid down 
ID the diarts too far to the soutbwaid and eastward. On the 
eighteenth we came to aiiehor in four fathoms of water,, abool Ita 
milea ftbm the mouth ot the mer Menam. 

The Ko Si-Chang islands bore as foQows : The nsost southern 
and westward of tbe groups S.S.£.|E.; centre, SvE. i S. 
The mountain of Bang-pa-soe, pi» tbe main land, E^SLE. The 
entrance of tbe eastern or main branch of the Menam, and the 
eastemmoetlandinsi|^W.&LW. The. kmd it Tecy low» eireft 

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■Ml] FACKNAM. 229 

'with the water*! edge, and covered with trees; that at the entrance, 
on the starboard hand, is a little more elevated. On the nineteenth, 
the tide had fallen to nineteen. We weighed again, and stood a 
mile or two to the southward, and anchored in five fathoms. The 
latitude and longitude of the anchorage is in latitude 13^ 26^ N., 
and longitude 100^ 33^ £., as Was ascertained by frequent lunar 
observations and by four chronometers. During the height of the 
river, when it is swollen by the periodical rains, sixteen' feet of 
water may be found on -the bar. At high spring tides, in the dry 
season, twelve to thirteen feet, and eight to nine in common tides. 
The above-named islands, by some navigators called the Dutch 
islands^ possess n safe and beautiful harbour, formed between the 
principal, or Si-Chang island, and the next in magnitude^ called 
Koh-kam. They are inhabited only by a few fishermen, and 
produce some yams, bananas, capsicums, gourds, and cucumbers. 
A boat was despatched to them to obtain water, if possible, but it 
could not be found in sufiident quantities to furnish the ship. We 
had no other resource, but to send upward of forty miles for it, to 
Song-kok, or else to take the brackish water of Packnam. Water, 
we were informed, could only be had at the Si-Changs during the 
rainy season. 

A boat was sent to the governor of Pteknam on the ei^teenth, 
to infonn him of the arrival of the ship, dec, and a letter was sent 
to the minister for foreign affairs, announcmg the arrival of the 
mjs8i(»i. On the following day, an interpreter came on board, who 
asked among the first •questions if there were any presents for the 
king, but received no satisfactory answer. A vast number of ques* 
tklM were also put to Mr. Morrison by die governor. A Cochin- 
Chinese ambassador arrived at Packnam on the same day, with sev- 
eral small filthy junks laden with merchandise. It was said to be 
enty an annual mission sent by the emperor, while others stated 
that it was to honour the ceremony of burning the body of the ^ sec- 
ond king^ who died some months since at the capital. On the 
twentieth, the captain of the port came on board, who said he was 
sent by the prakhing or prime minister, by efder of the kmg, to 
congratttlate as on our arrival ; that his nu^esty was much gratified 
at the good news, and very desirous of having a friendly commer- 
cial intercourse with the United States. After making sinuhur in- 
qnvies, as the goremor of Packnam^ ke returned, liie day folr 

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lowing, the praMang sent some fifuit as a token of regiurdy with a 
complimentary message to me. 

On Sunday the twenty-fourth, three large boats came to anchor 
near the ship, under the charge of the captain of the port of B^ng^- 
kok, Mr. Josef Piedade, a Christian Portuguese bom at Bang*kok. 
He stated that preparations were made at Packnam by the govern* 
or for the reception of the mission, that a feast Was there prepared 
by order of the king, that we should be under the necessity of re- 
maining there that night, for it was customary for all foreign minis- 
ters to stop there, and notice to be given of their arrival ;in congres- 
sional language, to '^ report progress." The vessel in which I em- 
barked was from seventy to eighty feet in length, and perhaps eight 
or nine in breadth, sharp built; having ^three 'long brass cannon^ 
highly ornamented with silver, inlaid in fanciful devices. One was 
placed forward, between tlie bows, the vessel having no bowsprit ; 
one «ft, and two long swivels mounted on fixtures, between the fore 
and main mast, and between the main and mizen mast She had 
tln-ee fore-and-aft sails made of light canvass, and cordage made of 
hemp, with good iron anchors, which are rarely seen on board na- 
tive vessels in the China seas, wooden ones being in general use. 
The vessel was propelled with forty short oars, manned by as ma-< 
ny Burmese slaves, dressed in the king's uniform^ being a coarse 
red cotton long jacket, a cap of the same material, trimmed -with 
white, and a blue waist-cloth. The boat had two rudders, one im- 
der each quarter ; and from having two helmsmen, it was either 
"hard up, or hard down," continually; consequen6y, she ^ycnoed^ 
not a little. There were no less than seven red flags ; one to each 
peak, two to each bow, and two tp each quarter. A small house 
on deck was appropriated solely for the use of the envoy. It was 
covered with a carpet, ^ad furnished with a pillow to recline on. 
The boat was neatly built and painted, and the house sligfatly 
decorated with carving and gilding. The passengew in thfi two 
boats consisted i>f Capt. Geisinger, Second*Lieut. Purveyance, 
Ldisut. Fowler of the Marine Corps, Acting-Lieut. Brent, Doctor 
Ticknor, Midshipmen Canol, Thonvas, Crawfoid and Wells, and 
Mr. J. R. Morrison of Macao, Secretary and Chinese Interpreter, 
and four servants. The other was, in aU respects, a similar vessel, 
but manned with thirty^six oars ; rowed "by Malay slaves dressed 
in blue, with caps of the same, trimmed with white. The ship^ 

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PBOCE88IOM. 231 

lay in iive and a half fathoms water, and not less than fijfteen miles 
bom Packnam, which is situated about two miles from the mouth * 
of the river Menam : Paeknam means the river's mouth or embo- 
chure. The shores are every where very low, and as flat as the 
south side of La Plata^ or Arkansas on the Mississippi^ and in the 
rainy season are completely submerged. The entrance to the river 
on the starboard hand is rather more elevated than on the left, which 
is quite sunken, mangrove and other trees only appearing out of the 
water. The river takes a sharp turn to the northward, at the en- 
trance ; the left bank running parallel, gives it the appearance of 
being closed at the mouth. 

We arrived at Paeknam, pn the left, bank of the river, about 
eighty and fpipd there, waiting for us, the captain of the port, and 
a great number of slaves at the landing, with torches in hand, and 
fastened also to temporary posts, to light us on the way to the 
government-house, situated just without an extensive fortification. 
There was a narrow way paved with broad bricks, which led to the 
governor's. The gentlemen composing the company, the servants 
on each flank with their numerous flambeaux, with many hundred 
lookers-on, preserving the utmost decorum, made no small show, 
and produced, up9n the whole, rather an. imposing .efiect, for this 
was the first envoy ever sent to the " magnificent king of Siam," 
from the United States, 

We were ushered into the best house in the village, enclosed hy . 
a bamboo-fence and guarded by soldiers with long wooden poles^ 
pointed with iron, , The houses are erected as all the houses are 
here, from five to seven feet above the ground, on substantial posts ; 
the sides are covered with attap, a species of palm growing abun- 
dantly on the banks of the Menam; they have a double roof, one of 
tile and another of attap to moderate the intensity of the heat. We 
ascended a stairway and were ushered into '' the presence" through 
lines of prostrate slaves, frona thepce to a raised platform. 

The governor was sitting cross-legged on an elevated seat, un- 
der ^ broad canopy, surrounded, a Kttle beneath him, by his sword 
^ and silver-stick bearers, and a man holding a long fan made of 
feathers, which was kept in constant motion to keep hizn cool and 
to drive off the myriads of moschetoes^ His menials were all pros- 
trate, resting on their knees and elbows, coming in and going out in 
the samd attitude, always keeping their faces turned towards him. 

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He was flmoking a long r pipe, having before him areoa-mit, chii^ 
nam, ceri (siri) or belel-lcaf, aiKl tobacco, all of which w»e de* 
posited in seyeral lairge gold cups of goblets. His dress consisted 
of a waist-cloth — ^his head was shaved excepting on thie crown, " k 
la' Siamese." He received us very graciously, courteously, and 
hospitably, shaking us heartily by the hand ; chairs were prepared 
for us and the best viands the place could afford, consisting of at least 
a dozen dishes, were shortly ordered in, well cooked in the Portu- 
guese fashion, dean and neat with porter, cocoa-nut water, and a 
square Dutch bottle of gin — ^there were clean table-cloth, knives, 
forks,, plates and spoons, and the floor was covered with a neat 
woollen carpet. The usual inquiries were made for our healths, 
ages, children, &c., &c. He congratulated us on our arrival, and said 
the mission was not only gratifying to him personally but to the 
country, as he was informed by the praklang or principal minister. 

Supper being ended, bamboo-chairs, covered with mats, some 
mattresses and pillows, were prepared, and the raised canopy or 
throne was assigned to me. Three fourths of two sides of the room 
were open to the air, protected from rain only by the long project- 
ing attap roof — ^we were guarded during ihfe liight by soldiers and 
excessively annoyed by moschetoes. By daylight, all were upon 
the " qui Tive,** glad to escape from the torments of the night. An 
early ramble carried us to a pagoda, neat in appearance, decorated 
with carved work and gilding — ^it was built of brick and neatly 
plastered — figures of non-Kiescript animals were about it, which 
were probably intended for lions, cut from granite, and there were 
small pra-chades or single spires built of brick and plastered, the 
whole being enclosed by a wall ; the doort were shut so that we 
could not obtain an entrance ; the ground every where was very 
low and swampy, and the houses mean ; the people appeared to be 
wretchedly poor, diseased and dirty, but still desner than the 
Coehin-Cliinese. Breakfiist ended, we took leave of the hospitable 
governor and proceeded up the river. 

Very extensive fortifications are here to be seen on both sides of 
the river, having water batteries, apparently oif great strength. A 
great number of soldiers manned the walls in cdmpliment to us, all 
dressed in the royal red uniform. We proceeded on with the flood 
tide, cheered by the passing scene. Occasionally, we met a single 
hut or a group of huts, having a boat at the door, and a ladder tok 

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ascend into their only room ; thia ladder is taken away at night, 
making their habitations more secure against wild beasts and rep- 
tiles, which are in great abundance in the swamps. Their princi- 
pd -neighbours are tigers and leopards, fnakes of rarious sizes firom 
the baa*-constrictor amd venomous cobra de cfappello to *he more 
deadly yiper, which they say i» black, about four or fite inches in 
length, and has two short legs. Alligators ibask in the sun at the 
foot of the ladder or under their building, and moschetoes bear the 
pahn here over the swamps of Louisiana and Texas, coming in 
myriisds so as partially to obscure the sun. 

We passied on to Pack-lac situated on the right bank, where we 
again found very extensire fortifications ; but we were unable to as- 
certain the number of guns either here or at Packnam, which is 
probably about ten or twelve miles below. The ebb tide here met us, 
and the slaves made bat slow progress in rowing-^a breeze occa^ 
sionaUy helped us^ but the remainder of the passage was rendered 
tedious by die great heat of the sun. The river has a great many 
bends, so that it is nearly double the distwce, by water, from Pack- 
nam to the capital, being from thirty to thirty-five miles, and only 
twenty by land. The shores are jipon a level with the river at 
hi^ spring tides, even at Bang-kok, and as I am informed, a long 
distance above Jutaya the ancient capital. 

Not until we were within a dozen miles of the capital, were 
there ,many clusters of huts to be seen ; but, fi^om thence, they 
gradually increased in number till we arrived at the city. The 
graceful and favourite areca-palm, with, its tall slender trunk and 
brush-like head, and the towering bamboo and cocoa-^ut, were to 
be. seen every where along the banks, interspersed with a great 
variety of firuit and forest trees ; and the water's edge was bounded 
by the attap,, or cocos-nypa, which is in universal use as a thatch 
for their huts. As we approached the capital, we began to see 
pagodas, some houses with tiled roofs, and a great many large 
junks, building in dry docks, which consist of a simple excavation 
made on the banks, the water being drained out by an ordinary 
barrier of plank, well banked with clay. Many of these junks were 
upward of a thousand tons. From two to three hundred were 
lying in the river. 

Numerous temples of Budha were now seen, covered vrith nea^ 
coloured tiles, some blue, and others green or yellow. Tall single 


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BMBA88T TO THB SA8T. fKbraor. 

apires, or .prah-chadis, were obeerFod every where. The temples 
present a very splendid appearance, having highly omaoEiented 
carved work in front, and UteraDy blazing in gold. There ia some- 
thing very novel in their style of architecture, which can only be 
made clear to the understanding by drswinga. Fruit and palm* 
trees overshadow their houses, interspersed with the sacred fig- 
tree, giving to them a cool and tropical-like appearance. Floating 
houses, resting on rafts of bamboo secured to piles, line both banks 
of the river, which seem to be occupied by industrious Chinese, 
as their long narrow red signs indicate : the latter serve to ahow 
the various articles they have for sale, 6cc. Tho Chinese are easily 
distinguished by .their complexion, being more yellow than the 
Siamese ; but they have generally docked the mUaU to their heads, 
and dress a la Siamese, with a circle of hair on the roof. But few 
of the " long tails," the distinguishing appendage to a Cbinaman-s 
head, are to be seen. 

We were upward of nine hours in reaching the landing,* in front 
of the house assigned to us by the king. We landed, and formed, 
a procession to the house ; the officers being dressed in their uni- 
forms, and the servants bringing up the' rear. We were ushered 
in by the pia-visa, or general of artillery, benedetts de arguelleria, 
and some other of the king's officers, to the finest looking house 
we had seeii on the river, having the front view entirely unob- 
structed. Passing through a neat white gateway, having a well- 
built stuccoed wall, over a grass-ploty through the inner gate, we 
found ourselves within an extensive area, between two long, rows 
of buildings, having large trees in the centre ; an outside staircase 
conducted us to a saloon, where we found a table set, and shortly 
after supper was announced. It was cooked in the European and 
Indian style, having a variety of curries of fish and fowl. It was 
well served, and in profusion ; and followed by^t variety of 
sweetmeats, and fruiu of the season. . Certain king's officers at- 
tended, and ordered every thing ; bedsteads and beds were brought ; 
and, in a day or two, moscheto-nets, &c., See. A cook was pro- 
vided, .and a purveyor, who partially supplied us with provisions. 
There was, also, a superintendant of the household, a Siamese 

* On the right bank of the river, whicff is eaUid Baog-kok— 4he won! Bang^kok i« de- 
m«d from ban, a honae, and kok, a gaideb. Moat of tho froit used at the old capital, 

came from thi^ place. 

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Iflib) WATBB-PXDLAR8. 235 

Portuguesd by bbtK Domingo by name, having ibur other* seirant^ 
to do >the ordinary work of the house ; and these, again, are all 
under the orders of Piedade, the captain of the port, who receiyes 
his orders from the praklang, or prime minister for foreign afiiedrs. 

Every day or two, presents of sweetmeats, fruit, or more sub- 
stantial food is sent, by die praklang, served up hi glass dishes, 
md sent on gold and silver salvers. When brought in, the ser^ 
vants kneel down and present theiii, in a more hmnUe manner than 
suits our repubUcan notions. Our residence has two ranges of 
buSdings, running back about one hundred and fifty feet, exclusive 
of the front yaid, with a wide area between. them. It is built of 
brick and .stuccoed, having a neat tiled roof. A long covered gal- 
lery conducts to the dormitories, ccmsisting of eight pn each side, 
wUch are about twenty feet square, with wooden floors ; under- 
neath are magazines, or offices i between the two ranges of build- 
ing, and connected with them by a high wall, is the dining-hall, 
open so as freely to admit the air, conunanding a fine view of the 
cqiital and suburbs, on the left bank: underneath the dining-hatl, 
is a private go-down, or magazine. The river at all times has a 
great number of boats'upon it ; but in the morning, when the bazar 
is being made ready, there are many hundreds^ probably thousands, 
going in all directions, from the smallest canoe, scarcely able to 
contain a -single person, to others which are nearly a hundred feet 
in length, and made from a single teak-tree : they are paddled by 
a great number of men, having a house in the centre, or a palm* 
leaf roof; the passengers reclining en a raised platform, covered 
with mats, carpets, and pillows. 

Water-pedlacs, of both sexes, but principally W(»nen, are in 
abundance, carrying tin and brass ware, English, and China, and 
India goods. Rice, oil, dried and fr^sh fish, balachang, eggs, fowls, 
areca, siri^eaf, chunam, pork, fniit, vegetables, &g.; mdeed 
every thing that is wanted, or supposed necessary for the comfort, 
ccHivenience, or luxury of the inhabitants. Budhist priests, with 
their yellow waist-cloths, mantles, shaven heads and eyebrows, are 
seen in great numbers, going their daily rounds among the inhab- 
itants, in canoes, for food and clothing. Women, also> use the oar, 
in great numbers, and with equal dexterity as the men. 

Although the Siamese are not a cleanly people, they are far 
superior to the Cochin-Chinese; they bathe frequently, their skins 

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S36 EX&A887 TO THB BAiT. Cnbcwr. 

are clear and £ree of eruptions,, and they do noi ereiliisUngly 
■cratdh, scratch,, and keep scratching, like the people of VuBglam ; 
but their coal-black teeth are excessively disgustiag, and die salira 
created by chewing areca, siri-Jeaf, and tobacco, is constancy is- 
suing in a red stream^ from their mouths. Fishiog being farmed 
out, there are not the same lively scenes exhibited here as on the 
Paug, I have seen but a very few occupied in that way since 
my arrival. Every floating hoi(se has necessarily a beat to «go 
visiting, from plaoB to place, or to tranitect business. The boat 
parts of all these houses are shops, having their war^ neatly ar- 
ranged on shelves and terraces. These buildings are of one story 
only, and are used as a bedroom at nigfak» or to fake a siesta when 
th^ heat of the day^ low water, and want ot cnstomeis, give to 
their inmates a temporary respite. 

The river here is about fifteen hundred feet vride, and veiy tleep, 
probably fifty or sixty feet, and the stream rapid on the flood and 
ebb ; the water is notwithstanding, firesh, and is used for all domesHc' 
purposes, filthy as it is. The upper stratum of the banks of the 
river is alluvial, and the under, where exposed, shows a stiff strong 
clay. The houses on the land, with very few exceptions, are of 
we story, built on hi^ piles, made of plank or bamboo, and rocrfed 
with tile or attap. 

Having expressed a desire to the praklang, throng the inter- 
preter, to enter as early as possible on the subject of the niission, 
I received an invitation early the next morning, firom the minister 
of foieign affairs, to meet him the same afternoon at five. He 
sent me word at the same time, that itVas always customary for 
fcHreign ministers to pay him the first visit. Suitable boats were 
sent in due time, and Captain Geisinger and his officers, and Mr. 
Morrison, accompanied me, dressed in their uniforms. A few 
minutes brought us to his house. Numerous people wert. present 
to attend our landing, a large portiop ofwhcnn came, probably, 
from motives of curiosity only. The house being but a short 
distance from the river, we were soon within his gates, and entered 
by a flight of steps into the audience hall. In the centre was a 
raised seat, on which the minister reclined. He is a very heavy 
unwieldy man, weighing, probably, nearly three hundred pounds, 
and about fifty-five years of age ; his only dress was a waist-doth 
of silk; he was resting on a new crimson velvet cuslnon, sup- 

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M^l KECBPTIOir OF XKTOr. 287' 

ported <M) the back by one of triaagulac shape. In front, on the 
SG9X, were utensils of gold, handsomely wrought, containing areca, 
cbunam, betel-leaf, &c., the gdx of the king. The front of the hall 
was entirely open, the room, decorated with a great number of 
very ordinary oval gih looking-glasses, placed near to the ceilings 
on the pillars which suppotted the roof; common EngUsh prints 
of battles, rural scenery, dec, were closely jdaced along the walls. 
Instead of wooden panels, painted Chinese glass was placed in 
compartments of about four feet in,height, with a profusion of blue 
and gold, and oytre figures of .Chinese men, animalo, dec. .Bras9 
chandeliers and common glass lamps were suspended from the 
roof. On the left of the praklang, being the seat of honour in the 
Eas^and ai the distance of a dozen feet, were placed two chairs 
for Captain Geisinger and myself. I was requested to occupy the 
one. nearest to the minister. A short distance from us, parallel 
with the praklang's seat, chairs were placed for the officers of the 
Peacock and Mr. Morrison. On .the right, on a raised platform, 
but lower than the minister's or our seat, and fronting Captain 
Geisinger and myself, were. Mr. Pie^ade and oth^r interpreters, 
secretaries, &c., to the number of six or seven, closely wedged 
together ; they were all crouching, in a brute-like attitude, on their 
knees and elbows. Oh the left, between me and the minister, were 
two of his younger sons, decorated with a profusion df golden 
necklaces, set with l^urge stones, having beautiful g(dden coronets 
around the tuft of hair, pn the top of the head, and a larg« 
golden bodkin secured the hair on their crown'; a silken maist*- 
cloth covered their loins, and silver bangles or rings decorated 
their wrists and ankles. Their skins were stained with turmerick, . 
sandal-wood, ot saffiron. A sWord-bearer, resting on his shoulder 
a sword, having a rich and highly-finished and omaniented gold 
sheath; another slave, with a long feathered fieui, to keep his ex- 
cellency cool, if possible, with others, were all prostrate on the 
floor, like the interpreters ; without, in the court-yard, were a great 
number of people, all in this humiliating postqre. His sons, when 
called, crawled as well as the others, ^tnd went backward in the 
same attitude, always facing their lord and master. One of them 
^as (ordered to bring us palm-leaf cigars; he caoie crawling on, 
poor fellow, bowed his head to the ground, and presented them ; 
he then went to the officers, but stood up, after leaving Captain 

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(jeisinger and myself^ he afterward crawled back to bis station, 
on the Itft of his father. We all made a bow in the usual style 
of our country, on entering and retiring,' and were presented with 
tea, sweetmeats, and fruit. 

The minister congratulated us on our arrival, inquired* as is cus- 
tomary here, as to our ages, children, &c., what- ports We had been 
to, the object of the mission, all of which he previously knew by 
a letter received from me, dated on the day of our arrival oflF the 
mouth of the Menam. Having got through wiUi this interview, 
and appointed the next evening for a conference, we took leave. I 
observe that the greater chiefs witliin sight of our habitation, have 
high peles erected close to their houses,^ on which small flags are 
displayed, and at night large lanterns are hoisted at the top, as a 
distinguishing mark, over their less fortunate neighbours. Every 
sort of humiliation' is practised by the lower to the higher classes, 
according to their rank : frcHn that of making a i^imple obeisance 
by \miting their hands, and raising them to the forehead, and bow- 
ing the head low, to kneelitig, and the entire prostration of the body. 
, We went by invitation, on the sixth of March, 16 the house of 
the praklang's brother, to attend the celebration of the feats given, in 
consequence (^cutting the tuft of hair on his son's head, which is 
done between the ages of ten and fifteen. The principal part of 
this evening's entertainment was comic acting and posture dan* 
cing, which consists in graceful attitudes of the body, and in slow 
movements of the arms and legs, particularly of the former, even 
to the distinct motions of the hands and fingers. The actors con* 
sisted of a king and queen, and male and female attendants, 
amounting to a dozen^ all glittering in gold and tinsel, barefooted 
and barelegged, their faces painted white, and having silver guards 
to their nails, not less than six inches long, pointed at the end, 
and recurvated: singing in rather a melancholy strain, not alto- 
gether unmusical. There were about a hundred beating sticks or 
a long board, which were changed occasionally for another stick, 
which, when struck, sounded like castanets : two drums beaten by 
thex hands, trumpets, small horns, and an instrument called a ranat : 
it is made in Lao or Laos, of graduated pieces of bamboo, which give 
a sweet sound wlien. struck with a sort of wooden hamnfier covered 
with pieces of coarse cotton thread : it has eighteen keys or bars, 
each fifteen inches long, two inches broad, strung together, and su0- 

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MM^l TH^ PRIl^A DONNA. 23d 

pended over a wooden boat^shaped box ; the top part being left 
open. There was another instrument also, the khong-nong; being 
a series of small cymbals in a bamboo-frame, forming a large seg- 
ment of a circle. 

Dming the posture-dapces, and through a considerable part of 
the divertisement, the principal singer to all /splendid entertain- 
ments, th6 prima donna, squalled to the very top of her voice, va- 
rious ditties in a melancholy strain, until I thought she would have 
swooned from exhaustion : but I was mistaken ; for she was made 
of tougher materials, than ever fell to the lot of any Other female. 
She was seated on the ground, and dressed in a dingy cotton waist 
and breast cloth, and her hair arranged " a la Siamese ;'^ it being 
all shaved off excepting on the crown, which was combed perpen- 
dicularly, standing "like quills upon the fretful porcupine."- Her 
teeth were as black as ebony; and her lips and ^ums were of a liv- 
id red : out of the comers of her mouth issued a stream of dark 
coloured saliva, which, ever and anon, she wiped off witli the back 
of her hand, and which was finally deposited on the waist-cloth be- 
hind': the saliva was produced by masticating areca, siri, chunan^ 
and tobacco ; the latter projecting from the right comer of her 
mouth, according to the disgusting practice of the Javanese and 
Siamese. A Catalani, a Sontag or a Garcia, could not feel much 
flattered by this addition to their sisterhood. When the actors 
enter on the floor, it is in a crouching or kneeling position, till 
they come in front of, the master of the feast; then, all kneel, bow 
their heads, and at the same time touch their foreheads with their 
united hands, and then slowly lower them to the waist. The sec- 
ond night'fr entertainment consisted mostly of representations of 
gladiators engaged in combat, fighting with swords and sticks, 
while numerous Chinese crackers were let off in imitation of mus- 
ketry : there were pugilistic contests also with the fists, and slap- 
ping with the flat of the hand; but there was no real "set-to." 
There was also a most excellent company of vaulters and tum- 
blers ; some of the feats were traly surprising, as the following 
description will show: it was a feat of strength, which surpassed 
every thing of the kind that I ever witnessed. Four men placed 
themselves in a solid square,, two others then got up and stood up- 
on their shoulders, and another man again upon theirs ; a very ath- 
letic vounff man, apparently about sixteen years of age, by the as- 
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sistance of a ladder, placed himself in a similar poakkm, on the 
ahouldelrs of the last many^standing.howeyer only On one foot, oo^ 
casionally shifted ; a boy of about twelve, then movnting a ladder 
high enough for the top man to seize him by a belt round the waist, 
he was raised at aims' length with perfect ease, standing on one 
l^g, and occasionally shifting it to the other. After balancing him 
for a minute or twto he threw his burden from him, who descending 
turned <a somerset and came without harm (^ his feet, being pitched 
from an elevation of about twenty-four feet. There were a great 
many hundred spectators- aU sitting on the floor, excepting the wives 
and relations of the master of the feast, who sat in a narrow gal- 
lery. Chairs wiere used only by our party, consisting of eleven. 

A handsome entertainment vfas served up to us, ill a very neat 
large room, to which v^e ascended by a flight of four stairs, leading 
from a court open on two sides. The simper consisted of a. great 
variety of sweetmeats and fruit, jserved up ip a very neat pret^ 
style, on silver salvers, placed on half a dozen tables — ^the chairs 
^ being borrowed c^xpressly for our u^e ; the head of the table was 
assigned to me ; cocoa-piut water was the only drink, which was 
taken from the sheU.- The room was decprated, at one end, with 
an elegant canopy, rich iti gold and silk, under which vf «re dis-r 
played elegant glass, China \/are, and gold and silver utensik, 
arranged on a wooden-terraced frame^ highly gilt, painted, and 
varnished, flowers being interspersed here and there. The canopy 
was brilliantly lighted with coloured lamps, and made a handsome* 
rich, unique, but rath^ tawdry appearance. As I cannot tell a 
Siamese man from a woman, when nimibers are seated, together, 
so it is out of my power to say whether any females were present, 
excepting the young actresses, who w^re all barefooted young 
girls. The hair of the Siamese women is cut lik^ that of the men ; 
their countenances are, in fact, more niascullne than those of the 
males : they are generally v6ry fat, having very stout lower limbs 
and arms ; are excessively ugly ; and Vfhen they open their nwutfae, 
truly hideous ; resembling the inside of a black paints^ sepulchre. 

On the eleventh, a large fire took place, in the Christian Poita- 
guese company, of Santa Cruss, immediately in our neighbourhood, 
which stopped at our premises. It blazed with great fury, die 
bouses being roofed vnth attap^ and the bamboo4rames being 
covered with the same combustiUe material : it produced great 

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aai.] riRS at bajtoxox, tMl 

diatress vnong the poor people : their houses were probably all 
their property, their beds bein^only a mat, and their cooking uten* 
silsy amall earthen pots and a water jar ; a waistrcloth oz tw9, aod - 
a few trifles, wece easily saved ; but plunderers, in great nmnbers, 
slide their few nuserable trifles a^ fast 9s they were conveyed 
to the rear. About one hundred and fifty huts were burnt, and 
some fifty or sixty of the sufierers took shelter in and abput our 
iiOtt8e« and some of the^ unoccupied rooms ; audi for many days, 
we supptied most of them with food. The king and the pra^ 
klaag ordiered them to be assisted with bamboo, dec, to rebuild 
their houses; and rice, and other small aifticles,swere/sent to them 
by their UKire fprtanate neighbours. As soojq as the fire com- 
menced, every person who could use along-'haiidled scoop, made 
'of closely woven basket-work, began throwingwat^ on their houses, 
€9en on the opposite side of the riven The floating houses moored 
along the shore near the fire, were cast off, and it being the first of 
the ebb, they moved down the river in great numbers. As many 
of them were on fire, they exhibited a very novel but painful scene : 
four, mifortunately, were consumed, with all their goods, and two 
China-mea were burnt to deadi. Qn the next floods the river was 
filled with the Hoatmg houses returning. It was predicted, by a 
snpetstitious Siamese, some days previously, that a fire would take 
place,, as a culture was seen to alight on the house of the port* 
captein* This officer's house, situated dose to the Roman Catholic 
cbmch, WM burnt — ^the latter butldmg receiviog no injury, as the 
waUs only are up ; and, I suppose^ firom the great poverty of the 
Cadiolic Cfaristians, it will take many years to finish it. The oM 
•Catholic church, in the rear, bmlt of wood and attap, is in a very 
dilapidated condition. There are four other churches at Bangkok 
and the suburbs, and only one at Jutia^^— the rest have fallen into 
•ruins. . 
. We landed, on the thirteenth, near the .walls of the city, at the 
point where one of the white elephants is confined: he was in a 
large, airy stable, and had a great number of attendants. His 
.cdour is. dusky, or rather yellowish white, and he was far from 
.being dean ; his skin was scurfy, and his eye very small, and of a 
blmsh or light«gray tinge. On account of his unruly temper, he is 
•securedby a cable around his right fore leg; the two fore feet 
are -also well secured. One tusk is jentirely broken, and the other 


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partly destroyed. He is annually confined, for about three months, 
during the rutting season. We entered the ci^, and saw part of 
the king's elephants. In one place were sa noble animals, males 
and females ; two of the largest sized naales had seTeral massiye 
silver rings on their tusks ; they were kept clean, and were in fine 
order. There were many other elepiiant-stables, bordering on two 
streets, which we vfsited. 

The stteets, through which we passed, were £rom six^ to 
eighty feet in breadth ; the housed, generally, ordinaiy in appear- 
ance, built (^ boards or brick, stuccoed, with tile roofs, or with 
bamboo with attap roofs. Most of them are raised on posts, and 
stand fiye or six feet from the groOnd. The streets are paved with 
very large-sized bricks. Stalls are kept in front of most of the 
buildings, wh^e are sdd fowls and pork, fruit and Tegetables> Hie 
China, and Indian, and European^ goods, are sold mostly in the 
floating bazars. There -were^ few people to be seen. 

Our object in visiting the left bank of the rivet, was, to see an 
immense edifice, in the form of a temple, which was erepting for 
the purpose of burning the wang«na, generally called the second 
king, who died about six months since ; and whose body has been 
embalmed, according to the imperfect knowledge of the Siamese 
in this art. The body is first washed, and then a large quantity 
of crude mercury or honey is. poured into the mouth; it is then 
placed in a kneeling posture, and ^be hands are brou^t together 
4>efore the face in the attitude of devotion ; strips of cloth are then 
bound tightly round the extremities, and the body is compressed in 
a similar manner, for the purpose of squeezing out the moisture. 
It is then put into an a(ir-tight vessel, more or less expensive, ac* 
cording to the rank of the deceased ; (some of the vessels are even 
made of gold ;) a hollow tube is inserted into the mouth, passes 
through the upper part of the box and the roof of the house, to con- 
vey away the effluvia ; a similar tube is placed in the bottom, 
which communicates with a vessel, placed there to receive ^a 
draining from the body. The sordes thus collected, if diey belong 
to a prince, are conveyed, with many ceremonies, below the city, 
and there emptied into the river. Should they belong to the king, 
they are boiled until an oil separates, and this is used on certain 
occasions, (as when his family or his descendants pay their de- 
votions to his departed spirit,) to anoint the singular iaiage> catted 

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Seina, wbicb is generally placed in a temple,, after his death. By 
the process, named above, the body, in a few weeks, becomes quite 
dry and slirryeUed. 

I am fully sensible that any description I pan give of. the build- 
ing to which I have alluded, will fall far short of the reality ; in fact 
no lan^age can convey an adequate description pf it. The ^'^oti^ 
ensemble ^^ when vie\ved at a distance, glittering in gold and flow- 
ers, recdls to our recollection the brilUant and splendid castles of 
iairy-land, -so bewitchingly set forth in many an idle work of for- 
mer days. Many hundreds of people have been employed in its 
erection ever since his death; the centre building is a large open 
dome, and probably reaches to the hei^t of eighty or ninety feet ; 
it is supported by immense wooden piUars of teak all in one piece-^ 
the roof is of various indescribable farms, and differs firom any T 
hare ever seen — the parts rise one above another till it comes to a 
point ; from the centre rises a high slender spire, and from the base 
to its apex cannot be less than one hundred and fifty feet ; the roof 
is covered vrith brass leaf, which gives it a splendid appearance at 
a distance : it has a great number of projections vrith various sin- 
gular ornaments on their edges and the inside of the roof is dome- 
shq)ed : beneaith it was eri&cted a small temple, in the same form, 
having in the centre a high platform, to which we ascended by a 
flight of steps, over which was a small spire : it is supported upon 
four pillars dnd cannot be less than thirty-five feet high — ^the roof 
is ornamented with neat carved work alid richly gilt — on the plat- 
form the body is to be burnt. The whole inside of the building was 
painted to resemble flowers,profusely gilded, and otherwise richly 
decorated with gold and silver leaf— the walls were made of mat- 
ting covered with paper and secured to bamboo-frames, as well as 
the outer covering, which was painted brown, decorated with large, 
flowers made of brass or copper leaf and pasted on, which gave it a 
brilliant appearance. Eight temples, one fourth of the size of the 
great temple, stand about one hundred kei from it, so that th^ whole 
fonns a complete square, of rather less than five himdred feet on 
each side; these are similarly gilt and painted, and are connected 
with each other by a corridor inside ; the covering outside is simi- 
lar to the great centre temple, being painted brown and overlaid 
with flowers. Around the base of all these buildings are projections 
of abdut three fee^ like the base of a cohmm, having imitation 

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mouldings : these are overlaid again with sheets of brass leaf^ ai 
well as the cornices and architniTes. The Entrances to all the doors 
have a profusion of gilt and painted ornaments as well as the base, 
shaft, capital, and architrave of all the columns. The great build- 
ing was surrounded at proper intervals (so as not to appear crowd- 
ed) with small temples or sheds standing on four colwnns^ and neat- 
ly gilt and ornamented. A Wide space on the oast side was left 
open, on which were erected very high narrow stages, neatly built, 
for the use of musicians, for the exhibition of rope dancers, turn-' 
biers, and gladiators, or sword fighters, pugilists, &c.* Au regular 
intervals were raised conical umbrellas or a series of canopies, the 
lower one being about six feet in diameter and each covering grad- 
ually lessening to the top, which terminated in a point — ^they were 
about tliirty feet in height and alternately were of silver-leaf and 
brass-leaf, gilt, and ornamented with flowers. The whole gromid 
and passages were covered in with bamboo framework, as well as 
the passage leading to the king's palace ; the latter had a covered 
walk or roof of the same material extending the whole distance to 
the entrance within the enclosure. There werefbur entntaces 
through long passages to the tetnple-altar or place of burning, and 
the whole buildmg was surrounded with hideous images of men 
about a foot high, low dwarf-trees being interspersed between them, 
protected again by a low neat network railing of iron. 

On the fourteenth, we went to partake of a feaiat 8t tlie pn- 
klang^s, in cbmpany with Mr. Silveiro, the Portuguese consul, and 
Captain Geisinger and the officers. This inVitation was given 
about ten days since, and renewed from time to time. It was con- 
veniently arranged by the praklang, as this day was set apart -fer 
shaving the heads of two of liis sons and a nephew. The feast 
could not have taken place without our assistance, for they borrowed 
one of our cooks, the tables, tumT)lers, wine-glasses, tureens, ladle, 
spoons, &c. We were informed they had novrine, and, therefore, 
requested me to furnish the requisite quantity. At three, covered 
barges were in waiting for us, and in a few minutes, we found oar- 
selves seated in the hall of audience ; the praklang was sitting in 
all his majesty, on a raised scat. The dinner was already on the 
table. As soon as the usual compliments were over, and we had 
sat down to dinner, music struck up within the house, accom- 
panied by female voices, which Were good and natural,^ and the 

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BODgs were not unmusical, being rather of a plaintive cast. The 
court-yard, during the feast, was thronged with people, who came, 
1 supp9se, " to sec us eat," and to see the officers in their uni- 
forms ; they were very orderly and quiet, crouching to the ground. 
I have seen no instance, thus far, of the slightest'degree of rude- 
ioiess, which was nvuch and justly complained of by Mr. Crawfoxd 
and others, but quite the contrary : every mark of respect has been 

The dinner was dressed " k la Siamese and Portuguese.** A 
stage wa^ erected in the court-yard for vaulters and tumblers ; 
when the dessert was produced, which consisted of some thirty 
dishes of confectionary and fruity they commenced their suirpnsing 
feau. They consisted of about a dozen^ belong to the step-brother 
of the king, the prince Cha-fa-Nooi» or Mum-fa-Nooi, and are the 
satne that were exhibited at thepraklang*s brother's, a few nights 
since. After the doth was removed, the king of Siam was given, 
as a toast by me, all standing; and in return, the praklang pro- 
posed the President of the United States, which 'was drunk like- 
wise^ all st^nding^ up. Two or three complimentary toasts then 
followed. The tumblers continued their sports for two hours, un- 
til sunset; then twelve young actors and actresses, very richly 
dad, made their appearance, and performed pantomimes and 
posture-dances, till pa^t nine, when our party, being heartily tired 
of the perfoimances, begged leave, to retire. Their sports^ we un- 
derstood, were continued till alter midnight ; the music was the 
same we had before. The three curtains, which conceal the 
entrances into the interior of- the house, were raised ; when the 
players began, each door appeared to be full of the minister's 
numerous wives, and in front some dozens of his children, all be- 
decked with necklaces, bangles, &c. ; their skins being coloured 
with saffipon or turmeric, for it is considered here a great de- 
sideratum to have the skin of a light yellow, The women were 
not generally so masculine in appearance as those we saw abroad, 
and were ci a lighter complexion, being less exposed. Some of 
them appeared but a shade or two less than white. They were 
elad in sombre^coloured silk waist and breast cloths, but wor^ no 
jewels; the teeth of even the youngest were black as jet, and their 
lips and gums of a Uvid hue. 

On the cutting of the hair from the crown of the male children, 

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a display is made by every person, however humble, from the 
firing of two or three muskets to feasting, fireworks, dancing, 
music, and acting, in all their varieties; presents are expected 
firom all relatives, acquaintances, and friends; which constitute a 
fund for the boy. A similar amount of g^fts is expeeted in return, 
upon a like occasion ; but a man high in office always has the best 
of the bargain. 

To show the extreme indelicacy, in truth, grossness, of these 
people, even ^mong the higher classes, the captain of the port, 
Piedade, was sent to me from the praklang, to say diat the envoy 
firom the United States would of course make a present, as Mr. 
Crawford and the Portuguese consul had done oa a similar occa- 
sion ; being placed in rather a delicate situation, in regard to the 
treaty, having two troublesome' points unsettled, I complied with 
this piece of spunging, and gave a hundred silver dollars, which were 
presented to the praklang in the course of the afternoon, in a gold 
vase, by the general of artiQery, Benedito, with a complimentaxy 
inessage firom me, wishing that his children might be useful mem- 
bers of society, virtuous and h&ppy, &c. It was h^Uy ludicmus, 
yet most disgusting, to ?ee the general of the eloTeft ranks of no- 
bility, who stands second in order, viz. : a phaya^ crawling like a 
dog on all fours, dressed in a striped silk cloak, bound round with 
heavy gold lace, of the fashion of the fifteenth century, shoving 
the vase before him, till he can^e to the praklang, and. delivering 
it, making his obeisance to the groimd vrith hands nnited ; then 
hacking out of " the presence,*^ in the same degrading positioDi 
till he reached me, to return the great man's thanks. The vase 
Hvas then taken just beyond out table, (one step below, for every 
step, in fact, has its appropriate rank,) and delivered to two persons, 
one of whom, I suppose, was the treasurer, the other the Moorish 
or Chuliah secretary, who always makes his appearance, crawling 
on all fours, with his black paper, slate, and pencil, whenever there 
is any business to be transacted. The money was counted within 
our sight, and reported to the praklang to be oZZ right f ! ! It was 
but a few days previous to this, that sn elegant gold watch, set in 
pearls, two cases of silks, and four elegant fiUagreed silver baskets, 
edged with gold, and ornamented with enamelled figures, had been 
presented by me to the praklang, which I intended to deliver at 
the conclusion of the treaty; but he having obtained infonnirtion,' 

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ia»l PRE8BNT0. 247 

by some meant, th^t I had a present for him» sent Piedade to in- 
quire of what it consisted, and the cost ; th& neit day he returned, 
with the eldest son of the praklang, who is one of the four house* 
hold officers of the king, being the second in rank, and called, 
*' Luang-nai-Sit," requesting to have them examined and an in- 
ventory taken, which was done ; a hint was then thrown out by 
the captain of the port, that it would facilitate my business, if the 
praklang had his presents. It was eyidently improper to give 
them, until those intended for thcking were presented ; but I com- 
plied with it, satisfied in my own mind it was done by command. 
They were presented tl^e same afternoon, on ^Id rases, when I 
went to discuss certain points in the treaty. 

The king's presents, consisting of silks, elegant watches set in 
peads, and very superior silver fitlagreed baskets, vnth gold rims, 
and enamelled with birds and flowers, were shown at the same 
time, at their request, and an inventory of them taken also ; again 
they.inquired the cost of them, made some remarks respecting the 
coloar of the silk, and said that some .other colour would have suit- 
ed the king better ; that the reason why they were ordered to ex- 
amine the articles was, to know if they mti^ suitable presents to 
give the king. Having expressed some slight degree of indigna- 
tion at their gross conduct, they said, such were their orders from the 
praklang, and that Major Burney^— who succeeded Mr. Crawford, 
in finally making a better treaty with them than was ever made be- 
fore, although it was effected after a long negotiation, by the sacri- 
fice of the personal liberty of the king of Quedah, and their great 
fear of 1^ English government, who possess the key of their coun- 
try* in holding possession of most of the stropg holds of the Bur- 
man jempire, as well as Malacca and Singapore, and their posses- 
sions at Pulo Penang — brought, among other articles, a parcel of 
painted boxes, &;c., which they rejected. After a slight personal . 
knowledge of three weeks only with this people, I infer that they 
are extremely disingenuous and fickle-minded, because many arti- 
cles of the treaty, passed and agreed upon in .the evening, have the 
following day been subverted, or the strength of the language so 
materially weakened, as to take away nearly its whole force. That 
they are great intriguers, past history will confirm : the present king, 
the illegitimate son of the late monarch, by the sudden death of his 
£iLther/ aided by bribes, placed himself on the throne, to the exclu- 

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gion of the eldest legitimate son, who, on the death of his fathcir, 
fled the place, and became a Talapoy" to sare his life. Cha-fii- 
Nooi, the next in succession, has* a small stipend allowed him, and 
liTOB in what is called the Portuguese fort, opposite die city: his 
life is safe, as long as his eldest brother lives. 

That these people are highly superstitious, is shown 'by their 
Constant watching for the flight of* vultures, and the worriiipping 
of idols ; and the ten thousand follies attached to the Budhist reli- 
gion, is stifficient evidence. That they are servile, is a necessary 
consequence, arising out of their despotic government. Suboidi-^ 
liation of rank is carried to a most degrading and revolting point ; 
true politeness therefore is destroyed ; they are abject in Ae ex- 
treme to superiors, and nK>st insolent and disdainfid to inferiors. 
It appears to be impossible for an inferior, to stand erect and man- 
ly, in presence of a superior : they are sluggish, ignoble and crouch- 
ing. A people who are habitually crawling upon their knees and 
elbows, and performing ** the knock-head ceremony,* cannot be 
otherwise than ungraceful and inelegant in their manners. If they 
were allowed to carry arms, they would be constrained to be civil 
iind polite to each other ; but custom santtions the right of aven- 
ging private wrongs. They are a most extravagantly vain people ; 
are reputed to be very deficient in courage ; excessively lascrvious 
and immoral ; of which proofs are presented at every step. Tem- 
porary marriages are so notorious, that to sell a daughter ^hoDy to 
a stranger, or fot a stipulated term of time, is as conmion among 
the middling and lower classes of people, as to sell any common 
commodity, usually to be found in a bazar. Custom has also fixed 
h, certain price for a certain rank. It is said by Ml:. Gutzlaff, that 
they are in expectation of the comiiig of the Saviour of mankind, 
and that the people who are to effect a change in their religion, are 
to come from the West, (meaning Europe and America.) 

If the overturn of an idle, superstitious and debauched priest- 
hood like the Talapoys, (or Talapoins,) who are said to amount to 
upward of ten thousand generally, in Bang-kok and its neighbour- 
hood, can be effected, what a glorious field will there be opened, to 
enlighten a nation who are not blood-thirsty^or revengeful, but nat- 
urally mild and tractable, and exceedingly charitable to distressed 
objects. They are willing to be instructed^ and gladly accept of 
any books In their own language, which are presented to them. A 

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better fonn of goveiameiit would of csoune make them a better 
peqrfe, but .they are now bowed down by oppression, and their 
highly productive soil ia almost tmtilled, because the hard earnings 
of the labourer are wrung from him by the rapacious cruelty of his 
rulers^ I omitted to say» that during the erening's entertainment 
at the praklaag's, a brown, highly yamished, and gilt seat, was 
biDught in and covered with carpels, cushions, dec, and phced on 
the floor a. short distance from where we were sitting, and shortly 
after, (precede^ by crawling slaves,) a sword-bearer,, others jcarry* 
ing highly wrought gold vaees, containing areca and a water goUet, 
a small tea apparatus, dec. ; then foUowed the prince Cha-fa-Nooi, 
or Mom-& Nooi, aod^ without any ceremony whatever, took pos* 
session of the seat without noticing in any degree the praklaog : 
when the inince entered, the praklang left his usmd seat, iriiich was 
of the same height as the prince's, and seated himself on the floor, 
with his feet xesting on a broad landing, leading to the upper floor: 
this is an admowkdgment of inferiority in raidL* On this landing, at 
his feet, reposed the. prakkng's son and farothec, and a step below, 
were his thubah, secretary, dcc^ dec. : actors beneath the last, and a ^ 
host of crawlers. The prince retired after sitting a Aon time, but 
without noticing. his host, who.immedtateiy rstumed to the vipfM 
or highest seat. 

During the afkemocMi of the frast of (be entertainment, the su* 
percaigo, a Chuliah, belonging to the Eaglieh^ brig Hig^bland Chie^ 
Captain Henry, firom ICadras, came crawling i^ on all feurs from 
the inner gale, and pteaealed, on salvers, aonie coarse Indian cali* 
coes and lawns. They were xpceived with a suHen air, and I 
coiM not perceive that the sHghtest nolioe was taken of them, 
when the praklang was infonned of the pseaent. This same supev* 
cargo.waeotteDfthecirouchers,^aced on the aeat widi the captain 
of ihe port; when we paid flie introductory vint to the minister. 

I went to visit the grsat resort of the focL-bsts, 4Xk a biandh of 
the liver leading to the sea. We found them in immense num- 
bers within the grounds owned by mendicant Talapoys, whereon 
were many tempks in a state ef ruin. These bttds were hai^g 
by their chiws, head dewnwaid, where they remain during the 
iay, oconpying the limbs of nianybandreds of large trees. Having 
prDcnred somiB, we meaisured rone, and found it was forty-dnee 
inches in length, measuring frem one eztremi^ of its wiogg to ihe 

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Other: it has the head of a fox ; the body is coTered with long 
hair, and it has a most unsavoury, strong, foxy smell ; it uses its 
teeth when fighting, but its main defence is in a hooked claw, 
placed at the middle j(Hnt of the wings, by which it occasionally 
suspends itself. In walking about the grounds of the pagodas, we 
observed hundreds of small conical mounds, which had been 
moulded by a form made of plantain stock, and surmounted by 
small paper flags fastened to a slender rod | these were said to be 
offerings made by some votaries of Budhistical nonsense. 

In passing up the river a day or two since, we saw a snake of 
about twelve feet in length, and about eight inches in circumfer^ 
ence ; he was swimming about close to our boat, and did not ap- 
pear to notice us, excepting when we struck at him with a paddle. 
Crows, vultures, and sparrows, abound every where, and we find 
Ae fonner very annoying to us, occupying the trees in the area of 
our house, pouncing iqM>n the cooks' premises, conjtinaally, and 
carrying off large pieces of meat or fish. The most common rep* 
tiles about our premises are lizards ; several beautiful species are 
found every where. We have, among • others, the tokay or 
gfaecko in great numbers. This name is given to it here from tta 
singular harsh and monotonous ory, which sounds like its name^ 
to-kay. Throughout the night, these noises are made at interralB, 
probably of half an hour, conmiencing with a lood cry, and gradn- 
ally growing weajier, making pauses of perhaps five or six seoondsv 
between the cries ; they ure repeated firom three to nine or ten 
times before exhaustion takes place. These reptiles vce frequently 
seen ei^iteenrnGhesinlength^havingred and light-green spots, widi 
many tubercles. Fish axe abimdant in the Menam, and the Siatties^ 
notwithstanding their pretended aversion to taking animal life, do 
not hesitate to eat fish, flesh, or fowl, if it is killed lor them. All 
these articles are sold daily. Beef is not to be had but there is 
plenty of pork. Fruit is by no means abundant hero at diis sea* 
son, although this is said to be the greatest firuit country in alt 
Asia. A few small mangoes have made their appearance, but the 
stones are so large that little fruit as to be found en them. We 
have seen no oranges excepting those faroaghft by China jvnks— « 
few poor watermelons and guavas^ which are a tasteless • firok, and 
plantains, bananas, and cocoa-nuta: the. latter are in abundaoicei 
and the water from the young oneif is very refreshingv 

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W»*) VRUITS. 251 

Here, for the first tiiKie» I tasted the water of a certain delicious 
kind of cocoa-nuty which was frequently sent by his majesty ; it 
was highly flavoured, and tasted like burnt almonds. ^ Oil is made 
in large quantities, and is used, when fresh, for cooking, burning, 
and for anointing the skin, and nourishing the hair. A little later, 
and the delicious mangosteen will be ripe, the orange, the durian, 
the pineapple, and lichi, will be in abundance, besides all the other 
tropical fruits common to this climate. The only vegetables we 
have yet seen on our table are the sweet potatoe, yam, garlic, onion, 
Indian com, beans, peas, and celery ^ which latter is used in soups 

The valley of the Menam produces marsh-rice, of various qual* 
ities, and in the greatest abundance ; it is often exported in large 
quantities, by license from the king. Rice is almost the only ar- 
ticle of food used by the inhabitants ; this vegetable is mixed with a 
little balachang and compound of shrimps, or the spawn of shrimps, 
or small fish, mixed with salt, and dried in the sun, and then 
moistened with fish-pickle : it is not only unsavoiiry to Europeans, 
but si»ne of it is most offensive to the smell. The inhabitants 
have but two meals a day, in the morning and evening ; the richer 
add tea, which is drunk in great quantities, without sugar or milk, 
during the day. Chewing areca and smoking cigars, are common to 
all, even -among small children, and both are constantly used 
during their waking hours. 

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Ok Monday, the eighteenth, airangeocents bayiog been pr«- 
Tiously made, three large boats were aent by the praklang, lo 
convey na to the palace, for.lhe purpose of being presented to hm 
majesty. Oa the previous evening, the second praklang, or the 
ph^a-phipbat kossa, with a long train of attendants, cajne to visit 
OS, with the ostensible object of tidking farther respecting certai|i 
aiticlesy which, the praklang wished to h|T9 altered ip the trea^. 
After 4 few minutes' conversation upon tUa subject,, the audienCA 
of the king w^ spoken of, and he. said that certain cetemoniei, 
according to court etiquette, must be observed on our visit. I 
repliady that every jNroper respect would, of course, be shovm Id 
his naajesty ; but that nothing noiean or servile inu«t be expected* 
He then said, on our entrance into tb/e ball of audijsnce, on passuo^ 
the sqr^en, thr^e bows F^re expect^ed in the Surppean siCyle ; that, 
on sitting dowp, in the Asiatic style,, (aa no chairs are there e?er 
used^) our feet must be placed behind us, that tboee bows were 
Ihepi to be made, by touting the hfu:^ds and touching the iCnrehead, 
and lowering the^i to the breast. Seieing notbmg unreaaonable or 
degrading in this formality, it was i^greed to, excepting that we 
refused to bow the head, like the Siamese, . On the king's naming 
us personally, we were to bow in the usual style of recognisance 
wiUi us ; and when the curt^ was drawn on. hja appearance, we 
wer^ to make three such bpws, aa mi^t suit us. This was all 
veiy freU; aiid Z was glad to find |be taking off the sjioes was not 
spoken oft aiyl ai^ni^ in a atooping positieot which cowU Ml 

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bare been complied with, as it was by. Mr. Crawford^ when on a 
mission a few years since, who, to effect his purpose, (in which 
he totally failed,) complied with their insulting demands. The 
Siamese amuse themselves with talking upon this subject even 
now, and say, that the gentlemen belonging to the mission, were 
obUged to walk ankle deep in mud and water ; that some of them 
lost their shoes, they being thrown away purposely by the Siamese 
•enrants ; of course, by order of their masters. Once or twice, the 
subjecX was named to me, and I sererely reprored them for their 
disgraceful conduct. . Major Bumey^ it seems, on a m(»re recent 
mission, agreed to comply with the demand of taking off his shoes, 
but on the condition that he kept, on his hat : they, however, pre- 
ferred he should keep on his shoes, and take off his hat. 

Our mode of conveyance from the water-side to the palace, was 
agreed upon previously, viz. : A palanquin, with eight bearers, 
dressed in red uniforms, and caps to correspond, was to be provided 
for myself, and ten horses for the other gentlemen, properly capari- 
soned, according to icank. We embarked at nine o'clock, and were, 
in a few minutes, at the palace-stairs. Spectators ¥^ere numerous, 
in the floating houses and boats, on our way ; and on landing, -the 
place was duronged with them, leaving sufficient space, however, 
for the procession, there being officers in atlendanise to kei^p the 
multitude in order. However, every thing was well condutted, 
and without noise. Excellent horses, handsomely caparisoned, 
with elegant saddles and silk bridles, breast)>late and head-sti^ 
araaniented with various-coloured gems, decked in rich embroidery, 
were pro?ided : each horse was led by one of the king's servants. 
' The procession moved on, the envoy being placed in front, 
throu^ two long streets, passing a gate of the city, afid ftnally 
mrrtved at one of Uie gates to the palace-yaid, where we fonad a 
guard, dressed in red broaddoth coats, and waist-cloths of every 
colour, with and without hats and caps, bearing muskets widi 
black barrels and red stocks. We proceeded to the hall of justice, 
where we dismounted. 

fronting the building, were ten large elephants, well d^Mrisoned, 
having a guide on their necks, with his hook ^nd spear fixed to -a 
staff; wlule anoth^ sat on the rump with a similar veeapon ; and 
io the centre, a standard-bearer, having a spear, to which waft 
attadied a long tassel of elephantVi hair : these men wore led tins 

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bftiiB and neat pajlii-coloiired dxesseBy.well fitted to the shape. We 
asc^ided two ok three steps to a landing, which Was crowded with 
people of yarions. descriptions: from this we advanced one step, 
which led to the floor, being escorted by the officers- in waiting, by 
CoL Pasqualy^and others^ We were desired to wait a short time, 
till his majesty, had airiyed inohe hall, which was at a short dis- 
tance. The floor was covered with a good Persian carpet, appa- 
rently made for the pl^e. Among others present, w«re ten 
Pequan officers of rankj sitting on the landing, outside the pillars 
which sapported the roof, for none were permitted to be on the 
floor where we were but the interpreters, and these, according to 
etiquette, sat on the floor. The Pequsoi officers were dressed in 
g<dd-flowered crimson silk, and long^ jackets, reaching below the 
knee, and turbans of- silk of the same* colour^ trinamed with- gold 
fringe: aU were sitting in the Asiatic style. Having waited some 
time, we were told the king was ready to repeive uau In proceed- 
ing to the hall, through a very spacioua and extensive yard, we 
saw, on our right, drawn out, standing on. a gras8<^plot> under hij^ 
canopies, eight other elephants, richly caparisoned, having noriders, 
but plenty of attendants. We passed on^-^preceded by a number 
of Chulidis, or Moors, having ekgant silk dresses, reaching to the 
feet» and turbans, some of flowered crimson : othei^ with white silk 
having gold flowers, and turbans of the samo — through several 
hfondred musicians, in red coats and caps. In the rear weve 
soMiers, placed in pens^ in a crouching posture^ aimed with speaia 
and shieUs^ with the interpreters and peace-officers. The musk> 
consisting of drums, brass horns, tnmipets,. ftcw^ &c.» struck iq> a 
BMMit deafening noise, on our entering within thsir lines, wldch 
ceased when we arrived within the walla of the balk 

Ev«ry thing waa conducted with the utmost decorum. Just be« 
fore reaching the hall, we passed a anosl noUe spotted elephant-*-^ 
he had four-massive gold rings> which mnst- have weighed several 
pounds eachyStudded with jewels, sectored around each tusk : a rais-^ 
ed seat, a foot or two above the ground,, waa fixed for him to staiid 
OB, because he was a royal elephant, and could only bo moimtedby 
the king : a servant was feeding him with fresh cut grass and 
Mnanas. Facing us was part cf the king's stud ot fine Arabian 
horses, placed under a high shed, richly, and in fact, auperbly 
dxes<ed» attend^ by their keepers,, which we wew requested to 

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admire. The spectacle thus fiur was quite impoeiogy and il i 
every thing had been aitanged to make a Arrourable iitipieasieB* 
The elephanta were placed in those positions, where they would 
show to the greatest adTaiitage-^-as well as the king's stud of hotaes, 
the immense number of militaiy with a rast many officers richly 
dad, many of them being most splendidly dressed^-Hfae singular 
unique style of aicbitecture of the king^s palace — a large nund»er 
of'cannon placed under open sided sheds, the hall of audience, 4c&> 
iccj illun^ned by a brilliant sun and an unclouded sky, gare to 
every tning an Asiatic and aorel appearance. 

We entered at length the vestibule through a line of soldiers, and 
passed to the ri^t ot a Chinese screen of painted f^ass, into the 
presence of his majesty. There lay prostrate, or lathcr on aD fours 
restuig ^n their knees and elbows, with handa united and head 
bowed low, all the princes and nobility of the.]and : it was an im- 
pressive but ani^asing sight, such as no freeman coukl look on, 
with any other feelings Axn those of indignation and disgust. We 
halted in front of the presents which were delivered the day pievi- 
COS, being piles of silks, rich fillagre ed silver baskets, elegajal gold 
watches studded with large peails : they were well disposed to 
niake a show. Having gone through the firstceremony of bowings 
we sat down on a carpet : on our being sealed the prostrate alaves 
around us (bemg the great men of the land) bowed simuhaneetudy 
Ihree times to the greund,in a slow solemn manBer,aad we joined 
in the ceremony as had been previously agreed upon. The king 
was seated under a canopy, in the Asiatic style, on acushioa of red 
silk velvet, on the lower and more advanced of the two thnmea^ 
wUcfh occupied the upper end of the apartment : this was a squaoe 
seat raised uome half doten feet from the ioor. Bvery thing was 
blazing in gold, in and about the two thrones : the kager md ua- 
occupied one was ol an hexagonal sh^)e, and resenidded a cburdh 
pulpit, so that &e king'sperson when seated in it, can be vicaUe ovly 
AroBgh the open spaces, in the form ef Grothic windows^about four 
feet in height by one and a half and two in width. One of diese win- 
dowsis infrvrtit, and one on each side of the tfaitMte. Apahrof curtaine 
ef gcM doth fanned a partitioti betweem him and seveial: iadividnahi 
ef the royal fiimily, who lay crouching just widiout, mi separale*car- 
fats, leaving a wide open space betfween the throne and the two 
mterpMers, whovr^e midway of the hiA. Befm dke curtain and 

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■M^l AUDIBlfCB OF KIMO. 257 

<m eidier side, weie eij^t or ten umbrellas of various sizes : these 
coBsisI of a series of canopies of eight or ten tiers, decreasing in 
size upward. 

His majesty is a very stout iSeshy man, apparently about 
fofty-five years of age, of a pleasing countenance. He was dressed 
in a cloth of gold tissue around the waist, while a mantle was 
thrown gracefully o?er the left shoulder. Four noblemen's sons 
were seated at the base of the throne, at the rear and sides, haying 
long-handled pear-shaped fans, richly gilt, which they kept in 
constant mdtion. A few questions were addressed by the king in 
an audible voice : ^ey were repeated in a lower tone by the phaya 
phipfaat, or second praklang, tothe phaya churat, or chief of the Chu- 
liahs, by whom they were whispered to the captain of the port, who 
interpreted them to us in the same low tone — the answers were re- 
turned through the same channels by us ; inquiring, in the &rtt pkoe^ 
as to the health of the President and all the great men in our coun- 
try — our own healths — those of the officers and crew — ^how long 
we had been from America— where we had been, and whence 
bound— desiring me to acquaint the praklang with all my wants, 
that they might be supplied, *&c.; &c., dec. The curtain was now 
drawn and his majesty disappeared ; the court made three solemn 
kotows, and we our three salams, and then retired. The hall is 
probably one hundred and twenty feet in length by sixty in breadth^ 
and has seven or eight stout square pillars on each side, probably 
built of brick and stuccoed, which support the roof; the highest part 
of the ceiling must be thirty«five or forty feet, is painted vermillion, 
having gilt starlike ornaments : the pillars and sides of the wall 
were painted so as to resemble pap^r hangings, and were altogether 
in bad taste : common looking-glasses, and ordinary European 
paintings of men with frizzled ahd powdered hair, were placed 
against the wall. The floor was cdvei«d with a new kiddenninstar 
carpet, such as may be bought in the United States fdr about a dol- 
lar and a quarter a yard ; in fact there was no richness or elegance 
displayed ; exceptmg iabout the throne there were neither jewels nor 
costly workmanship : Ae dress of the king himself was by no 
means extraordinary. 

We were surrounde<l by Siamese, Cambojans, Bikmese, Pe- 
quans, Malays, Chines^, Cochin-Chinese, Moors, and people of 
Lao, dressed all in the Costumes of their respective countries, but 


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258 SMBAS8T TO THB SABT. Plttrtl. 

all of tbem at the disposal of the ** master c^ lives,** as the king of 
Siam is styled. It was before observed, that the princes wero 
nearest the throne, on a separate carpet ; behind them, on another 
carpet, were the praklang and the higher officers of state, as pre- 
cedence is decided here, by relative vicinity to the throne; the 
lowest officers admitted, are those at the very entrance of the hall. 
When the courtiers enter, they crawl in on all. fours, and, when 
dismissed, crawl out again backward, '' a la crab," or ^ i la lobster ;" 
and when the numbers are great, their appearance is most ladi- 
csous. During the audience the utmost silence was observed by 
the couttiers ; not an eye was even cast toward us..witil it was 
ended. One would suppose that all who were there present, were 
assembled before the throne of Him who is to sit in judgment at 
the latter day, rather than before a temporal monarch ; there were 
such a stillness and solenmity at times, that the scene was quite 
oppressive. The audience, which lasted ahout half an hour, being 
ended, his majesty ordered us to be shown the white and other 
elephants, the temples, &c., within the pdace-walls. 

On our exit ftum the building, the music again struck up and ended 
when we passed the lines. We were first conducted by the inleF- 
preters and some half dozen officers, to the stables of the more 
valuable elephants, kept within the enclosure. The first shown to 
us was the sacred white elephant, a more gentle and peaceable 
character tfian the one secured without the walls, near the river ; he 
was much whiter also, but this, might be owing to his being kepi 
cleaner, his eyes wer6 larger, sound, and healthy in appearance, 
and the skin free from scurf. I was particularly requested to fe^ 
him with bananas and. sugar-cane, which he received from my 
hands most gently, rubbing his long proboscis once over the badt 
of my hand and then m^e three salams with his trunk. Fresh cut 
grass was placed in small bundles before him, and when annoyed 
by the flies and moschetoed, he would take a wisp and brush his 
legs, throwing it afterward on his back. In this stall was a white 
monkey, of the size of a small dog, a perfect Albino, the iris, 
pink, &c., &c. ; he was kept in a cage, and appeared 'never to be 
quiet for a single second. We passed on to four other stalls, 
which contained spotted elephants ; they are noble animals, and I 
consider them more w<»rthy of notice than the white ones. We 
passed on to the great temple of the palaoe, which was repairinj^ 

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»■•.) PBIJB8T8 — INUNDATIONS. 260 

where Budha sat enthroned on high, of a gigantic size, shining 
mth gold and yellow cloths, and protected with a yellow umbrella. 
Tlie walls were covered with historical paintings, relative to the 
wanderings of Raoia ; amd the outer courts were filled with descript 
and nofr-descript anions of all sorts, in plaster, stone, and marble; 
Within the columns, plates of arUiicial fruits were pls^ced'; the 
favourite lotus was growing in liurge ornamented stone and por* 
cdam vases, and there were artificial ones, in stone. Two war- 
riors, of immense size, guarded the entrance as usual. The doora 
were splendidly adorned with molhtf«of-pear], inlaid so as to 
represent flowers and fruit of various elegant devices. The ther* 
m<Hiieter -being at nearly a hundred, we remained but a short 
time, being much exhausted by fatigue and tlie intense heat of the 
son. We returned in the same order in which we came, being 
much gratified with our reception, and rejoiced thai it was at 

I luive firequently asked the question. How many priests theie 
are belongmg to the different pagodas? The answer has been 
always, sometimes ten, and sometimes twenty thousand ; there is 
no particular number. Pray, what is the cause of this great dif- 
igseact in numbers, at different times ? Oh { it depends altegethef 
upon the price of ricei ; if rice is abundant}, priests are fewer ul 
mumber than when it ifi scarce ; for a great number of them entei 
th^ priesthood for a short time only, when they have nothing t6 
eat : this is the reason, why there are so many raaall boys dressed 
in yellow, because. their, parents have no food for them* During 
the great inundati<Hi of L83I, the number of priests doubled, in con* 
sequence of the scarcity of provisions. This vicinity was, until 
that time, remarkable for the great abundance and variety of its ex- 
cellent fruit. In the course of th^ee months, during which the country 
was so submerged, it was almost totally destroyed, as well as the 
crops of rice and cane. In speaking one day of the extreme ser* 
vility of the lower classes to the higher, I was informed, that the 
prakla^g, in coming out of his house during the overflow of the 
river,^ always had the usual homage paid to him by the people, of 
kneeling or stooping when he passed them; and. that they have 
been fitequendy seen so deeply immersed in water, as to be obliged 
to rise a little to prevent its entering their mouths, and sufibcating 
them. This degrading homage, I have seen frequently paid him 

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by his eldest son, LuangHaai*Sity crawling ob all fbuis inlo his 
fiftther^s presence, and bowing his head to the ground^ with united 
bands. He is about tweniy-fiTe yean, of age — has seTeral wives 
and many children ; he is^ an inquiiing mind, but.said ^ be yery 
intriguing and cringing to those who can promole his ioterests. 
He says, ** his father firequently s^mIs for him to breahfaat, and 
the constrained position in which he is placed (<m all. fours) pre- 
yents his eating much, be, therefore, uBfoEtunately suffers befoie 
he can obtain his dinner,'' 

Among the queer articles of export firom this place to China, 
are snake-skins, which are there used for musical instruments prin^ 
cipally, and also for medicinal purposes. Many of the. reptiles, 
from which these are taken, are of large size ; and it is said are 
upward o( thirty feet in length, and wide in pro(M»tioD. The float* 
iag houses on the river, when sunk nearly to the water's edge,, by 
. the decaying of the bamboos on which they rest, are frequently an* 
no3^ with them, for they a^ always in search of poultry. Among 
' other methods of taking them, is this : a chicken is placed at the 
forther end of a bamboo coop, nea^ the door, over^night; a bole is 
made in this coop of a sufficient size to admit the entrance of a 
snake of fifteen or twenty feet in length ; if the reptile entwr, 
after having gorged himtelf virith his prey, he is unable to get out, 
and is then easily killed. The skin is then dried, and roUs of it 
Are found suspended from the ceiling of the floating shops. The 
entire carcasses of tigers are also exported to Chin^ for the people 
of that country ignorandy suppose them to possess great medicinal 
qualities. Last year, sitty carcasses paid duties on exportatioB, be- 
sides a large number smuggled ; they are generally in every putrid 
state long before they are shipped. 

The thick' hide of the rhinoceros is also anoliier article of ex* 
port to the same country, and by a peculiar process, it is made in- 
to, and used as a nutritious jelly. 

March twenty-seventh. Reconnoitring in my boat yesterday 
evening, on the left bank of the river, Up one of die numerous cap 
nals, we saw imder a common shed, a short distance from a wat or 
temple, a number of idols. We stepped on shore to examine them, 
and at the feet of the great idol, lay a poor wretch, dying with the 
confluent small-pox ; his bloated features and his person, covered 
with pustules, made him a disgusting object; he had crawled thith- 

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1WI' B!»D&A— ^CANALS. 861 

er diat morning, ftad had brought half a dozen saucers €t sweet* 
meats, cooked rice, and fruit, and placed them on the lap of Budha, 
praying no doubt most fervently, that he would be pleased to cure 
him of his foul disease : but his cries were of no avail to this gild* 
ed block of wood, although they lasted from morning until eyen*- 
tide ; for he died that night, at the feet of Budha. 

March iwenty-e^hth. This morning, it being Very high water, 
we entered on the canal which runs neaf to the southern wall ojf 
the city ; passing along it, about a mile and a quarter, we turned to 
the left, and proceeding along about the same distance, we again 
shot out into the main river: thus taking a complete circuit of the 
city. The wall is about twenty feet in height ; not a piece of can- 
non was seen, nor even a solitary sentry taking his we^ round ; 
but a number of canals passed under the wall, and were fUled widi 
market-boats : there are Ito portcullises ready to drop, in case of a 
rebellion, or the invasion of an enemy; these canals, therefore, of- 
fer a ready and easy entrance. The houses iii the suburbs in ma- 
ny places, are built imcdediatdy againi^t the walk. No defence 
could be made, against even a smairdi8ci)>lined force, for there is 
no regular military force in the kingdom ; the soldiers are never 
drilled with muskets, the government being unwilling to trust them 
with arras in their hands : tiieir mode of warfare is altogether de- 
sultory. Many parts of the canal which surrounds the city, were 
much crowded with pedlars' boats, containing coarse cloth, paper, 
brass, and iron utensils, &c. ; others with sak, sapan-wood, cotton 
in small baskets, ftreca-nut, siri-leaf, chunam, coloured with turme- 
ric, dried fish, oil, sugar, balachang, fresh pork, ^sh, frmt, and 

The back of the city bore, altogether, a rural appearance ; the 
banks were thicUy settled, people of all ages were bathing, wash- 
ing at the same time their simple dresses ; children were seen 
asleep in short square-net hammocks, and the mother lying at full 
length on a mat, chewmg areca-nut, or smoking a cigar, propelling 
with her foot the hanging cradle ; the cat and dog lay stretched al- 
so at full length on the platform, overcome with the intense heat of 
the day ; the banks were, however, well shaded by the many trees 
which occupied every vacant place. The' mango, now folly laden 
with its oblong green fruit ; the religious fig-tree with its iH'Oad and 
pointed leaf; the plantain bending beneath the weight of its fruit; 

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the areca-polm with iu slender and regular Btenit and brashJike 
head ; and the ifSeful cocoa-nut and bamboo, were seen towering 
in every direction^ We visited a number of the king's boat*h6us- 
es, and saw a canoe one hundred and five feet long, made £rom a 
single teak-tree, excepting the high curved stem and stem ; we saw 
also, hundreds of useless boats, most of them intended for war, 
while others were for pleasure, being neady gilded about each quar- 
ter. The war-boats would be altogether useless in a sea-fi^t. 

March thirtieth. Yesterday we visited a wat or pagoda, built 
by the present king, when he was prince Chroma Chiat ; it is called 
wat-chan-tong, or " the temple of the golden sandal tree f it is stt- 
uated about six or seven miles from the outlet of Bang-kok Yai, in- 
to the.Menam. The company consisted of the Rev. Hr. Jones, 
and Doctor Ticknor ; a, boat and rowers were sent to .ua by the 
praklang. The buildings are more substantial, and in better order, 
than any I have heretofore seen ; hewn granite steps and pillars 
were about the principal entrances ; the floors of the temples were 
of marble tessellated ; the walls leading to the temples, and the 
' dwellings of the Talapoys, were of square pieces of splif granite; 
•and there was a greater air of neatness about them, than any we 
have yet viewed. Noble banyan, and the religious fig-tree, shaded 
the walks ; large porcelain fij^es of men, and non-descript beaalB, 
embellished the fronts of churches, the entrances into the outer 

There are two islets near to the landing place, having on them 
miniature temples, and small images, overshadowed by noble ban- 
yan trees, which are to be found in great abundance every where 
in the vicinity of Bang-kok. It is one of the most curious of 
nature's productions: each. full-sized tree is a grove; for every 
branch, on reaching the ground, vegetates and increases to a large 
trunk, and these again send forth others, till, from old age and ex- 
haustion, the parent dies, and the progeny gradually decay for want 
of sustenance, leaving a forest in ruins. It affords most beautiful 
walks, vistas, and cool recesses; and bears a small fig, which is 
scarlet when ripe, and affords a luxuriant repast to monkeys and 
peacocks, and other birds, which inhabit this father of trees, that 
shades and protects their young, in cool recesses, from a burning 
sun, where they sport and idle their leisure hours away, free from 
cares, excepting from the mischievous monkey, which robs them of 

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their eggs, or the wily seipent, that beguiles them of their tender 

The principal wat is occupied by a colossal figure of Budba, 
lying on his right side, supported by the elbow and hand, and seren 
aquare and triangular pillows, with ornamented ends of cobured 
glftSB. It is of the enormous length of sixty-three feet, having on 
iu, head a high peaked cap. The ^'phra-bat,^ ol- ''holy feet," 
are each six feet nine inches in length, having five toes, all of equal 
length, being one less than the Budha of die Burmese. It is made 
of brick and stuccoed ; but overlaid with heavy gilding, highly 
burnished. It was covered, on its exposed or left side, with yel- 
low, or talapoy cloth, and canopied by an enormous yellow um- 
brella« Many priests and young students of the monastery 
accompanied us« They were asked why the idol was protected 
widi cloths, and the umbrella ? They replied, that the great Budha 
would be offended if neglected, and he ought to be kept warm. As 
the thermometer was little «hort of one hundred, and we were pant- 
ing for breath, with the perspiration running from us in streams, 
they were told that all clothing was oppressive ; but they said, 
they dared not neglect him. They were also asked, how long he 
was to lie ? They said, about three thousand years, when Budha 
would be annihilated, or his authority rather would cease. 

The ceiling of the wat was painted of a rich vermilli<»i, and 
** ihickh inlaid with patines ol bright goM." The walls, and inside 
of the doors and windowrshutters, were entirely covered with rural 
and aquatic scenes, birds, flowers, dec, dec; idl rich with gold and 
beautiful colours, highly varnished, displaying a cultivated taste. 
The doors, at the entrance, were most splendidly inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl, wrought into various and elegant devices. Sur- 
rounding the wall of the court-yard, was an extensive -corridor, 
c<mtaining eighty Budhas, of about four feet hi^ in a sitting pos- 
ture generally, while others were standing. At the feet of each 
were two smaller sized devotees, kneeling and facing them, with 
their hands spread out and united in the attitude of prayer. These, 
together with a group of eight in one comer, made, altogether, two 
hundred and forty-six images, being all highly burnished vriih gold. 
Other images, of women, are scattered about the court; and the 
two gigantic warriors, as usual, placed as guards at its conunon 
entrance. The Indian lotus was growing in handsome vases of 

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864 IXBAStT TO THS Si.4IV. OtmA, 

granit6| poroeluiiy and marble. Thera was alao a laige gBt image 
in a sitting posture, made of a composition of copper, tin, and chic. 
The ceiling, walls, &c^ were neariy similarly painted to the other, 
having a tessellated maiUe pa?#ment; but the doors were painted 
Uack, with boiders of richly gilded flowers. A^ devotee had taken 
up his lodging within the temple, near one of the doors, and was 
then praying at the feet of the image. He passed his days there, 
and at night watered his couch with his tears, in die vam expecta- 
tion that, at his death, Budha would cause his soul to be trans- 
migrated into a higher and hoUer state cf existence. 

There were about one hundred and fi£ty Talapoys generally at 
this monastery. Here, also, was a small deep bathing place, hav- 
ing in it a number of small alligatcmsi — ^tbey are common. We 
passed a great number of temples, and counted twenty-five on this 
route. The banks we?e thickly inhabited, having a low but rich 
country; and the various firuit and flowering forest trees, by 
which it was overshadowed, contributed greatly to its beautifiol 
scenery. Boats were continually passing in great numbers^ va- 
riously laden. The fronts of the cottages being open, all the domes- 
tic operations were fully seen. At the foot of the ladder, childhood 
and old age were seen, bathing in the tuibid vraters of this tributary 
of the Menam, aU seemingly happy, although living under one of 
the most despotic governments in the worki. 

On our return, observing an artificial mound near a small wat 
with a gilded front, we were induced to stop and examine it ; it was 
in height about twenty feet, built of brick and overlaid with rough 
pieces of rock. We entered by a flight of steps into some dcd^ 
winding passages in imitation of caverns — on the step was a'small 
temple court and a relic of gatitama, which we were unable to see 
owfaig to the Talapoy who had charge of it being asleep. The flier- 
ntometer being at ninety-five, with a dead oven-like heat, we were 
glad to retreat to some cooler places Proceeding on by another 
route, we saw a number of Talapoys^coUected near to a place for 
the burning of the deadt under a high pyramidal shed placed amid 
a grove of the religious fig-tree : we laoided and proceed6d to the 
spot In the centre of the building, on a brick platform, was placed 
a bier of seven or eight feet in height-*4he sides which comrealed 
the body were covered with white muslin and the top, &c., or- 
nament^ with yellow tinsel ; the bier, I suppose, was of wood, 

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tm.1 FIRB-FKEDER8, 266 

but it was neatly covered with plantain ^tock, and being fresh cut 
resembled iyory with a slight tinge of yellow. : fanciful deTices 
were cut in the sides and red paper inserted, which gave it a very 
neat and finished appearance. In each corner were raised platforms, 
and on one of them sat fifteen or twenty Talapoys, having before 
them a feast of nice things, such as rice cooked in various ways, 
sweetmeats and fhiits, and a pile of yellow cloth, all of which were 
presents, from the parents of a dead daughter, lying before these 
senseless worshippers of idpls. They were talking aloud and laugh* 
ing, apparently insensible to the solemn occasion for which they 
were assembled : being disgusted with their conduct, and .findii^ 
that the ceremony would not take place until three in the aftemoont 
we left the place intending to return in due time. 

At the appointed hour, we were again there, but the burning had 
commenced half an hour previously : a part of the scuU was re- 
maining, the. head having separated from the body : the back bone 
was ne^urly entire as well as part of the limbs ; two grim looking 
fellows were replenishing and stirring the fire with three-pronged 
forks, smoking cigars, and laughing as though they were attending 
a baker's oven. They were^ constantly employed in going from 
this funeral pile to another,, situated in the open ttir, a short dis- 
tance off, where was consuming the body of a dead slave. 

Besides the ^' fire-feeders," there wa^ assembled a party of 
young feiqales, acquaintances of the deceased girl, waiting to col- 
lect the unconsumed bones, that they might be conveyed to the 
mourning paients : they were decent in their behaviour, but there 
were no visible signs of grief on their countenances at this sad 
spectacle ; they were seated on one of the raised platforms, chew- 
ing areca-nut, and talking vrith considerable earnestness — ^but the 
instant they saw us, they started on their feet, and exhibited very 
strong symptoms of curiosity ; probably, mahy of them had never 
seen a white person before, and our dress, of course, appeared 
strange to those who were only accustomed to the sight of a waist- 
cloth. They inquired of a gentleman who spoke Siamese and 
English, if we came to see a body burnt, or what was tfie object 
of our visit : we told them it was to see a body burnt, and to view 
the temple near by. They asked us to look at the remains, on the 
funeral pile, and see if we could tell whether it was a nude or 
female, (for the natives are under the impressioa that Europeans 





know every thing, and allthe European race even if bom in Amer- 
ica, are called Europeans.) They were told after taking a view of 
them, that they were those of a female. At this answer, they held 
up their hands, and appeared to be exceedingly astonished^ for they 
were not aware that we had ascertained this fact in the morning. 
We immediately left them, not wishing to be questioned further, 
and they are under the delusion without doubt, that we do, indeed, 
" know every thing." 

The poor slave who has just been mentioned, must have had a 
friend who was willing to pay the expenses of the burning to the 
Talapoys, or alias the phratais or phra-bo-coots as they are called 
in Siamese, otherwise he would have been thrown without ceremo- 
ny into the Menam and become food for fish or alligators. A worth- 
less priesthood, who daily spunge the most abject in society of 
their scanty pittance of rice, clothing, or fruit, refuse even a few 
sticks of wood to consume the dead bodies of their poor bene&c* 
tors, and to recite s, few heathenish prayers without being amply 
paid for their trouble ; but the priests of Budha are not the only 
ones who exact payment for what is obviously theurbounden duty. 
Some of the Clmsiian churches, even in this vicinity, as weU as 
those of other countries, will be paid for burying their dead, and say- 
ing mass for the repose of departed souls. 

The cexemony of burning the dead may be witnessed almo^ 
daily, between noon and three o'clock, within the pr ecincts of the 
temples. During the ceremony, music of a niost discordant kind is 
frequently introduced. The instruments are noisy and consist of 
gongs, drums, dec, &c. Prayers, written in the Pali language on 
slips of palm-leaf, are first read by a priest from a pulpit ; females 
and males set beneath it each holding a taper : the language is prob- 
aUy unintelligible to every one present for most of the priests can 
barely read it, and few of them understand it 

These places are generally thronged with idle persons, who take 
no part in the ceremonies, and walk in.and out talking and smoking 
cigars, dec, &c. At the head of the coffin is a piece of white cloth ; 
a number of priests take hold of it on each side, reciting certain 
prayers — ^this being ended, the coffin and bier are dismantled, the 
body is vashed by one of the servants of the pagoda, who is always 
^aid a small fee for this most disgusting piece of service. Bodies 
ace frequently kept for days m this sultry climate, and then the 

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officers no sinecure — ^ii is truly loathsome. Tlie ablution being 
concluded, a layer of wet earth is laid on the bier and dry wood is 
piled upon it— the body is then replaced in the coffin, and carried 
three successive Ximtfi around the alfar by the nearest nnde ^la- 
tives,and afterward deposited upon the pile ; tapertf and incense 
rods are distributed to all who will receive them ; a priest delivers 
a final prayer,, then s^ts fire to the funeral pile, and is followed by 
all who receive tapers and. rods for that purpose. The scull 
is always broken with a heavy bar of iron, to prevent, as they say, 
an explosion and scattering of the bones and brains. Small pieces 
of money are now distributed to objects of charity, who are always 
in waiting at these places at the usual hours, and are disappointed 
if there ate no rich victims ready for the funeral pile ; sometimes 
the male relatives throw bundles of* cloth over tlie pile — those on 
die opposite ftide carefully catch them, and in other cases it is 
dispensed with. 

No explanation of this singular piece of ceremony could ever be 
obtained. I ought to have mentioned, previously, a horrible cus- 
tom which occasionally prevails here : many Siamese give direc- 
tions that their dead bodies shall be stripped of the 'flesh and given to 
dogs, and carniverous birds, which infest the neighbourhood of the 
altars, and the bones only are burnt. This is considered to be 
both laudable and charitable. The unconsumed bones are careful- 
ly collected, prayers are recited over them, and various ceremo- 
nies are performed by the priests. They are then burnt to ashes, 
reduced into a paste with water, and then formed intd a small 
figm*e of Budha, and gilded ; the latter is then placed among the 
household gods, or deposited in a temple of Budha. If any im- 
portant brancli <^f tbe family die, it is carried in procession, and 
this is caHed " the procession of the bones of thei^ ancestors." But 
as the priests are very exorbitant in their d^onands for this smalt 
piece of service, none but the richer class can afford the expense. 

I omitted to mention the arrival, some days since, from Singa- 
pore, of the English schooner Reliance, <;Qmmanded by an Amer- 
ican, Captain Burgess of Maine, and owned by Robert Hunter, a 
Scotch g&ntleman, who has been trading for eight or nine years 
past between Singapore and some of the ports on the eastern side 
of the Malay peninsula, but more particularly with this place. In 
this vessel cwte an American Baptist missionary, the Reveraad 

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John Taylor Jones — ^wife, chfld, and servants : he. has been re- 
siding for about two years past at Maulmein, in Burmah, but lat- 
terly at Rangoon. H« had been expected for some months, and a 
house was preparing for him by the very respectable Mr. Silveiro, 
the Portuguese consul at Cokai, near a campong of Burmese. I 
immediately wrote a note and sent it to the roads, about forty or 
fifty miles distant, offering them every accdmmodation in our ex- 
tensive house, imtil they should be able to take possession of their 
own. Two days afterward, the family arrived with the exception 
of Mr. Jones, who came the following day, and remained with us 
till every thing was anfanged. Their house is a tolerably comfort- 
able one for the climate ; they appear to be v^ell satisfied with 
it, and. their contiguity to Mr. Silveiro, who «peaks French, En- 
glish, and Siamese, and is Me to gite every sort of information 
relative to the people- and the country, having resided here about 
thirteen years. The house is situated a short distance back from 
the river, amidst palm and other trees, and is surrounded by a 
dense population. The house formerly occupied by the Revexend 
Mr. Tompkin, jan Englishman, Mr. GutxldT, a Prussian^ and Mr. 
Abeel an American, all missionaries, residing here within the last 
few years, is a short distance from it, and immediately on the banks 
of the Menam ; it is a very small cottage, fit oidy for humble 
dwellers, and the very appearance of it« with the very respectable 
men who occupied it, will convince any one, that a life of luxury 
and indolence was not their object in leaving their country and 
their homes, and all that was dear to them ; but to go about doing 
good in the cause of Christ, according to tlieir best abilities. 

These worthy men did much good when they were here^ by ad- 
ministering medicinies to the sick, and in many instances, no doubt, 
in distributing usefid and religious tracts in the Siamese and Chi- 
nese languages ; but the injudicious though well-meant zeal of Mr. 
Gutriaff in the very outset, within the first two days of his aitival, 
gave great cause of offence- to the government ; for he immediate- 
ly threw many thbusands of tracts into every floating house, boat 
and junk, as v^rell as into cottages. An order was issued for his 
immediate expulsion from the country, and that his* tracts should 
be collected and burnt ; and had it not been for the friendly inter- 
ference and good management of Mr. Hunter, who was a favourite 
with the jpraklang, the order would have been executed. 

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mm4 1II8SI0NARIB8. 260 

The king ordered a truislaiion of the tracts to be made, which 
was done very fairly ; he read them and said candidly and openly 
that there was nothing objectionaUe in them, but he preferred his 
own religion. The goyeramenf raise no objections to Christian 
missionaries residing in the country, and it is as favourably dispos* 
ed toward them as can be expected, considering the great influence 
of the Budha priests ; but missionaries must never suflfer their 
zeal to transport them beyond the bounds of ccnnmon prudence. 
A certain sect of Christians here are very inimical to Protestan^ 
missionaries, mucb more so, I am credibly informed, than the Tal-^ 
apoys, who believe themselves so firmly seated that they do not 
trouble themselves about the Protestant preachers. As a con* 
▼incing proof that the government is far firom beiiig unfriendly to 
missionaries, the praklang sent down a good covered boat, express- 
ly to cfmvey Mr.. Jones and his family to their new residence, at 
Cukaif two miles distant from our house. Mr. Jones was intro^ 
duced l^ Mr. Hunter to^the praklang, who received him with ap- 
parent kindness. 

It it said, by some, that this favourable reception is owing to his 
being an American citizen, and because of the friendly terms ex- 
isting between the government of Siam and the United States. It 
is true, vrithout doubt, that the king openly expressed much grati- 
fication, that an American nian-of-war had arrived with an envoy, 
for the purpose of forming a treaty of amity and commerce. This 
fact was named to me repeatedly, b)^the praklang and by others, 
who daily attend the court. > His Siamese majesty immediately 
orderjBd his best unoccupied building to be prepared for us, (and it 
certainly is the best on the river ;) two of his best war-boats to be 
sent to bring ois 4o the city, and a feast to be prepared by the gov- 
ernor of Paoknam ; and on our arrival at the house, every comfort 
and every luxury were spread on the tables and cook, purveyor, 
servauta, interpreters, and guards, at our service. The praklang 
was ordered to facilitate the speedy execution of the treaty, &c. 

All this was very gratifying ; but, under the 4:equent delays and 
obstnictions thrown in the way of the treaty by the praklang, in- 
fluenced, probably, by the preference which the government peo- 
ple of Siam were said to have for my coimtrymen, it is said by 
Mr. S. and by many others, to have been the most extraordinary 
instance of despatch ever known in the history of diplomacy in 

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this country, even when an enemy was at their door. Their 
friendly disposition towards us was confinned by Major Bvrney, 
who was sent to Siam, by the goyemor-general of ^dia, about six 
years since, now ambassador at the court of Ava. He informed 
Mr. Jones, that the Americans were decidedly preferred to any 
other foreigners. He was detained here about seren months, and 
met with a thousand Tozations. He was not move successful in 
his negotiations than we were, although aided by the sacrifice of 
the king of Quedah, and the fears the Siamese have of their En* 
glish neighbours in Burmah, and the Malay peninsula. Mr. Craw- 
ford, his predecessor, likewise, who came here for a similar pur* 
pose, in 1812, was detained several months, treated witli insult, 
and dismissed without obtaining a single commercial advantage. I 
omitted to mention that Mr. Abeel is held here in the highest es* 
limation, by those who have the pleasure of his acquaintanee. He 
possesses talents of a very superiar order, and acquirements that 
do great credit to his industry ; is mild and conciliating in his man- 
ners, forcible in his arguments, yet possessing a sufficient d^ree 
of zeal, never giving offence to the government, nor creating diidike 
by being over-zealous, and thereby disgusting the natives ; but the 
bad state of his health would not permit him to remain on this 
good missionary ground, which may be made, in a few years, ready 
for the harvest. Missionary stations should never be left vacant, 
and several teachers should be on the spot at the same time, so as 
to be able to relieve each other occasionally. The language of 
the country must first be learned, and at least a partial know* 
ledge obtained of the Mandarin and Fo-kien languages of China. 
Missionaries should also be well acquainted with the peculiar doc- 
trines of the Budhists, which they are labouring to subvert : free 
schools should be established ; a printing-press put in operation, 
and those children should be preferred who have never attended the 
schools of the Talapoys. Although a good wife contributes in a 
thousand ways to the comfort and convenience of the missionary, 
yet the prejudices of the people they visit should be consulted, at 
least for the present; for the Siamese are firm in their opinion, 
that the vow of perpetual celibacy should be observed by idl who 
bear the title of priests, of Christians as weU as worshippers of 
Budha. All missionaries should also have some knowledge of 
medicine and sm:gery. 

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The climate of Siam is more healthy than that of Batavia. Not- 
ifithstanding the great heat of the climate, and the vast quantity, 
of uncleahed and ondrained land, epidemics do not often prevail ; 
yet the spasmodic cholera, a few years smce, swept off upward 
of siity thousand inhabitants. 

During our .stay, the weather has been clear and serene, a breeze 
visiting us about the middle of the day ; yet the thermometer has 
ranged 93^, and has lEirequently been 94^ and 95^.- No one has 
been sick, excepting of complaints in the bowels, occasioned by a 
change of diet. , 

The profuse perspiration under which we suffered, day and 
night, considerably exhausted our strengA. Those pests of all 
swampy countries, mosehetoesand other insects, have not appeared 
in such vast c{uai|tilies as they do in the rainy season, nor reptiles, 
which then ^ abound every whcfre ; nor is the heat so great as it 
will be within the next four or five months, when the thermometer 
will rise from 100^ to 103^ ; yet, it is said, the climate then is not 
more unhealthy than it is at present. Where the ship lies, the 
diennometer has not risen above 84^, and prevailing winds have 
been from the southward, blowing fresh the most part of the time, 
with a considerable sea. During the heat of the day, notwith- 
standing bathing is resorted to, and the natives are often seen with a 
wet cloth on their shoulders, to keep them cool and mitigate the 
effiscts of a scorching sun; yet it is a rare circumstance to see any 
of them with a covering on the head, excepting the women-pedlars 
on the river, who wear a palm-leaf hat, the exact shape of a milk* 
pan reversed ; this is kept on the head by means of a frame-work, 

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made of split rattan ; their dn&ss also is different from other 
women's being a tight xotton jacket, with ideeves, and the Usual 
waist-cloth worn by both sexes. 

It is surprising how few of the iliechantc arts are here practieedt 
excepting those which are Connected with the building of junks 
and boats ; and in this case,' strickly speaking, there are but two 
or three employed. The carpenter, who builds the vessel, naakes 
the masts and wopden anchors, and the very few blocks that are 
used ; pumps are not known, for the* water is bailed out from 
vessels of one thousand tons burden. They go to market and buy 
their mats to make sails, which are spread out on the ground 
within certain pegs, which pre the proper dimensions and shape ; 
the bolt-rope is then sowed on, being mad^ of a species of very 
coarse strong ^rass, abounding eyery where; and the sailmakers, 
being the sailors of the. vessel, make the cordage generally, and 
assist in making the immense cables. Blacksmiths are neceasaiily 
employed to make bolts, and calkers are indispensable. 

A true Chinese junk is a great curiosity ;^ the model must hare 
been taken originally from a bread-trough, being broad and square 
at both ends — ^when li^t, (I speak of a large one,) it is ful| thirty 
feet from the surface of the water to the tafferel, or the highest 
part of the poop. Forward, a wide clear space interrenes, where 
tiie cable is worked, there being a stage erected, some twehre or 
fifteen feet above the forecastle, on which they help to work and 
keep a lo<^out for sail. The mainmast is a most enormous stick 
of teak or other ba|d wood, big enough for a line-of-battle ship, on 
which they hoist an enormous sail, which generally takes aU the 
erew, consisting of at least a hundred or a hundred and fifty mem ; 
when th^y wish to lower it, it is necessary to send a number of 
men on the bamboo poles, which stretch firom side to side, to assist 
in its descent. A small mast, the after or mizen mast, is placed 
on one side, not in the centre as in other vessels, but steppedor 
secured on the deckl The enormous cable is hove up by a com* 
mon windlass, without the assistance of pauls, stretching from sida 
to side of the vessel, through the bulwarks. The centre of the 
vessel is at least fifteen or twenty feet lower than the tafierel, open 
for the most part amidshif s, planks being placed here and. there 
to step on. There is tier upon tier of cabins aft. The hold is 
divided into compartments ami made water proof; these are hired 

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CBIirB«B 1UKK8. 973 

or owned b; the shippers, so that each one keepp his goods 
sepaiately ; and in case the vessel spring a leak, in any particular 
part, it is> more easily repaired. The caboose is on one side; 
and their meals, as at home, are made of rice and salt or fresh 
Tegetables, and perhaps a little fish,* oM of every cheap article, 
however unsavotuy, senred up .in a great number of small 

The vessels are kept in a most fildiy <xmd]tion, and can be 
scented a long way off. Scenes of the grossest debauchery are 
practised on board these junks; and sambUng is carried on to a 
great extra t. They are called either male or female, according ta 
the shape — the former being sharp aft, if not forward ; but these 
are considered to be illegitimate upstarts of modem date, and are 
not the true Chinese junk. The female has an enormous broad 
c<mvex stem, there being a hollow or cayity, where, the broad^ 
clumsy, gratiiig-like rudder is placed; it prdbably recedes two feet 
from the quarters to the sterapost They are generally. painted 
white and red, perhaps blue, and the two enormous eyes of vigil- 
axice are ever to be seen on each bow. On the stexn^ aU the art 
of the painter is exhausted by a profusion of meretricious oma« 
ments^-an eagle, or what is intended far one, occupies the centre 
of the stem, surrounded by all sorts of non-descript figures, and on 
one side of the counter is a Josh, or god of wealth, resembling 
in shape Toby Filpot, besides a great variety of indescribable 

The boat is exceedingly stout and clumsy, and an exact coun* 
terpart of the juiik, being of an oblong square, neaiiy fiat, and pro- 
pelled by a long oar, placed on a swivel. 

Another kind of mechanies, are tin and leather-dressers, which, 
strange to say^ are always to be found in the same shop. The 
makers of qualtahs, or iron pots and pans, which are a very neat, 
light article; and little liable to be broken, owing to the ductility or 
toughness of the iron These pots are sold at a cheap rate, and 
are preferred to all cast-iron vessels imported from Europe. Some 
iron is also made into small bars or pieces. There are also 
makers of sandals, which articles are worn otoly by the Chinese. 
The tin-ware is very neatly made, and the patterns show a good 
deal of taste ; but it is useless to put on the fire, as there is no 
alloy mixed with it. The leather is died a common red, made of 


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874 XMBA88T TOOTHS XA8T. nfaich. 

deer-skin^ and smoothed by a black stone, the size of a brick ; it 
is used for mattresses, pillows, &c. House-caqsenters, canoe, ai|d 
boat builders, and & few makers of .musical instruments, wilka 
little coarse pottery, anda few ordinary knives and locks, coaiproe 
all the mechanic arts that hare fallen wkhin my knowledge. Ooki 
and silversmiths, I have nowhere seen ; if there were any, who 
* possessed such ingenuity, they would be„ seized upon by the king 
or his officers, and employed in their service. The gold vessels, 
containing areca, cigars, &c., Scc^ are carried to every place they 
Tisit, by the princes and higher officers of gover]iiiient,.«re made at 
the palace, and can only be used by the king's favourites. I have 
seen a few rude hand«looms in operation ; but the fabrics, both of 
ailk and cotton, were very ordinary. 

They import their brass ware and silk stuffs from China and 
Surat, and their cotton and tvooUen goods, cutlery, icc^ principally 
from Singapore. Even the Talapoys' razors for shaving their 
heads, are imported from Canton : they are made of thin brass, of 
a curved shape, about, two inches wide throughout, and six inches 
long, fixed into a coarse wooden handle. The meehanip artSu are 
carried on almost wholly by the industrious Chinese llie com- 
jnon houses are of bamboo, with attap roofs ; sopde are built of 
wood, and few of brick; but with. few exceptions, they all stand 
upon high piles. They are thus raised, in consequence of the in- 
undation of the river, M> make them more secure against depreda- 
tions, to keep them dry, and to avoid the numerous reptiles. The 
bridges which cross the canals, are genially a single plank; some 
few have timbers laid on apartments of wood or brick, planked, 
and about six feet wide, but an arched bridge is nowhere to be 
seen. Roads there are none ; and the only carriages are those 
owned by the king, which are brought out only on some great oc^ 
casions, and are never seen beyond the walls of the city ; of course, 
there is scarcely any use for horses or elephants. The Menam 
with its thousands of boats, and the numerous canals and branches 
of the river, make the comnnlnication every where cheap and easy, 
and compensate in a great measure, for the want of roads. ^ 

The principal amusement of the inhabitants, within their houses, 
is singing and playing on musical instruments, of various kinds : 
their singing is of a plaintive and melancholy cast, and they dis- 
j^ay considerable taste in its execution ; but.there is too much mo* 

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noCony, too much sameness in it ; stiU they have got beyond the 
point of being pleased with mere sound, like the Chinese. Their 
musical idstniments are very numerous : I hare been able to 
describe but few; the music produce'd by them is very different 
from the vocal, being cheerful and lively. Playing chess is also a 
pastixoe. Dancing girls are kept for the amusement of Uie women 
of the higher classes. Tumblers, rope-dancers and actors, are con« 
sidered necessary appendages for a .complete estaUishment. 
Gambling is carried to great excess by the Siamese and Chinese; 
and the revenue derived, from it, as wSl be seen in a statement of 
the revenue, is of considerable importance to the government. 
Flying kites is a favourite amusement with all,, especially with the 
Talapoys, and a great number of them may be seen employed, in 
this way, at all hours of the day. Playing shuttlecock with their 
feet, three on a side, is much practised by them, as well as the 
laity; and in their houses, and .even-wiUiin their temples, they 
spend alarge portion of their tioie at chess.- These amusements, 
U>gBther with chewing areca, smoking cigars, begging, and sleep-^ 
ing, l^ve but little time for devption and study. 

A few days since, a Siamese came into the yard> and desired to 
exhibit some dancing snakes ; he uncovered a basket, and drew 
out with his naked band several of a large size, and of the most 
venomous kind known in India, the cobra de capello — they were 
full six feet in length, and large in proportion ; he had eight in the 
basket, and took out thre^ or four at a time, and suffered them to 
run about; he would then touch one sUghtly on the body, as he 
was retreating, which caused him instantly to turn his head back^ 
ward toward the tail. The head, from being round and small in 
proportion to the body, was quidily expanded to the width of full 
thrfse, and probably five inches in length, showing a crown or 
circle in the centre ; the head was nearly flat, his forked tongue 
was thrust out with great rapidity, and he kept vibrating from side 
to side, and his keen fiery eye shot forth most terrific glances ; but 
he m^e a most noble and graceful, although frightful appearance. 

The exhibitor kept a cloth moving, a short distance in^front of 
his eyes, aod the snake, in endeavouring to elude it, so that he 
mighi sprii>g upon his adversary, kept in a dancing motion. 
Having tied two or three of the largest round bis neck, and put 
the head of one of them in his mqulh, the exhibition ended. B^ng 

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satisfied that the fangs were extracted, or otherwise they could not 
be handled with iaipunity, I suffered two of them to run between 
my feet, but they did not offer to molest me or any one else. 

The water used for. domestic purposes is taken, with all iu im* 
purities^ from the riTer,in water-tight buckets, neatly and stran|^y 
woven; it is put into unglazed earthen jars of thirty cr forty gal^ 
Ions, and is suffered to settle in the best way it can, without any 
foreign aid.. The filth of half a million of people^ which ia ail 
emptied into, the river, renders it most impure, and dead bodies are 
frequently thrown in to save the expense of bunung. In a family, 
where no garments are made or mended — ^in which there is no b»> 
lung or ironing of clothes ; no stockings nor shoes woni^ and the waali- 
ing and drying of their simple garments, done at the riyer, doos not 
occupy a month in a year-^-no books read, and no writmg done— a 
large portion of the time of the females must, of course^ be spent 
in sleep and idleness. This is the Ufe led by the Siamese women 
of a good condition, they having in fact no occupation — this must 
be the true ^' dolce famiente'* of the Italians, and a sorry one it is. 

They wear no jewels, these being used altogether by the 
children, th^ dress consisting only of a waist and breast cloth of 
dark silk. A little music, the dancing girls, actors, and tumblers^ 
occasionally exhibited, chess, colouring their skin yellow witb 
turmeric, sikI anointing the tuft of unshorn hair on the top of theh' 
kead; scandal, with frequent dissensions, the natural consequence 
of a plurality of wives ; no riding out, seldom paying visits, and 
larely diverting thentselves with shopping, the almost tmraried 
lepetition, from day to day> of the same dull round of occupations 
and amusements, cause their lives to drag on wearily, heavily, and 
listlessly. Long nails being considered^ a BOtt of patent of nobiKty 
by the Siamese, as well as the Chinese and Cochin-Chinese, 
draw a certain line of distinction between the vulgar, who are 
obliged to wear short ones and work for their living, and the higher 
crdAs. Those of tho latter are carelully preserved from being 
bndien, but not quite so much pains being taken to keep them 
dean, they are generally disgusting in their appearance-Hiome of 
them are full two inches in length, and are put into cases of 
bamboo or metal on retiring to rest. The female accesses wear 
silver-pointed cases to them> which curve backward widi a high 
sweep, nearly touching the wrist. 

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The higher orders of nobility, in fact, all who are allowed to 
cnr^l as far as the lowest place within tbe palace, and all the offi* 
cers of state, must pay a morning and an evening visit to the ^' Lord 
of the White Elephant," to \dn *' golden-footed fnajesty/*'''\h» 
master of all men's lives." Not to attend regularly, is considered 
a mark of disrespect and disaffection to the king : sickness, or some 
great calamity, only, is good causfe for excuse. 

Regularly, at half past ei^t in the morning, the praklang passed 
tbe mission house, having about a dozen paddles to his long canoe, 
sitting cross-legged or sidewise under the palm-leaf awning, or 
reclining on a carpet and cushions, a slave crouching on all fours . 
in front of him, administering to his* comforts in lighting a cigar, or 
helping him to areca. His palanquin (or rather a lacquered hand- 
barrow) protected from the rays of the sun by a large umbrella, 
was carried in the same boat, so as to be in readiness, on landing, 
to carry his unwieldy person to tbe palace. About noon, he re- 
turned. Between six and seven, he again regularly passed, and 
returned again usually about midnight. The paddlers on the numer- 
ous boats crouched low when he passed, as they all do when pas- 
sing by the king's bathing-house on the river : he never notices, 
in the sHghtest degree, their obeisance, but wo to tltem if they 
omit it. The bath-house is of great length, painted red, and deco- 
rated in front vrith numerous dwarf-trees and shrubs, and is used> 
it is said, daily, by his hundreds of (some say, eight hundred) wives 
and many scores of children, with their countless attendants. 

Annually, every public officer renews his oath of allegiance to 
his majesty, in the most horrid and revolting terms, calling down 
upon himself every curse and punishment in the present and future 
world, should he prove. disloyal. At the commencement of the 
Chinese year, every governor, or other important officer, even of 
the mo^t distant province, is obliged, on pain of ^eath, to present 
himself at the krong, or capital, for this purpose. 

A few Jay>! after our arrival, the venerable bishop of the Roman 
Catholic church sent a deputaticHi to wait upon me, consisting of 
a young French priest, who has been in the country about two 
years, and a native Portuguese priest. The bishop sent an excuse 
for not paying a visit in person, owing to his advanced age and 
great, infirmities, and requested me to call upon him, which J 
accordingly did in a few days thereafter, in company with Mr. Sit^ 

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Teira and Doctor Ticknor. He made but few inquiries respecting 
his own country, which he had apparently almost forgotten. He 
said he was bom at AvigucHi, in 1760, left Fnmce in the yeaf 178§, 
and, with the exception of the t$me occupied by a tedious passage, 
three months passed at Af acao, and six months at Hv^^ the capital 
of Cochin-Cliina, he had been ever since in Siam. He was very 
infirm, and in his seccmd qhildhood: sans teeth, sight; dim, sans 
every thing. The house he lived in was v^ry old and far from 
being clean. . The church was built of brick and stuccoed, having 
a very gaudy and ordinary altar-^iece, and destitute of images. It 
has been finished but a few years, and is called Santa Assomption. 

A college, erected within a few years since, the. church, and 
neatly built c^ wood, stands near it, having about twenty students. 
It is erected on high posts, and is one story high. This Christian 
campong stands in the midst of palm and forest trees ; and the 
situation is altogether very rural and pleasant. It will bear no 
comparison with its' neighbours, the rich and goigeous temples of 
Budha. The Catholic churcheo^ in this country, since the first 
bishop arrived, in 1662, have scarcely made any progress : tfaede* 
scendants of the Portuguese constitute, I may say with ]Mropriety> 
all the Christians in the kingdom ; so say the Catholics themselves. 
All that can now be found here, and in the vicinity, do not exceed, 
according lo tlie most zealous of that sect, thirteen hundred ; but, 
according to a Protestant Christian mis.sionary, who resided here 
nearly three years, and numbered them with considerable accuracy, 
they do not exceed four. hundred. There are four churches in this 
vicinity ; three of them are merely long sheds,' in a wretched con* 
dition. ' In the campong of < Santa Cruz, the walls of a brick one 
are erected, near to the old shed of that name ; but the building 
will never be finished, for there are, already, evident signs of di- 
lapidation in many parts of it. 

Of the splendid c|iurches that once adorned the old capital of 
Jutaya, there is but a small one now ^remaining, built out of the 
ruins of the others i and in Camboja, where the Catholics once had 
a strong foothold, they have dwindled to a mere name. The de- 
scendants of the Portuguese, in whose veins coursesthe blood of 
the courageous adventurers with the bold and fearless Yasco de 
Gama, who had the temerity first to double the cape of Good 
Hope, and the cruel Albuquerque, are now crouching slaves before 

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MiM .BVDH18T TSMPLB8. 879 

the nobles of the country ; and are employed only in menial offices, 
with the exception pf two, which give them a bare aubsistence. 

The number of temples erected in the city and yicinity, I was 
unable to ascertain : that they amount to several hundreds^ (some 
report from four to five hundred,) there cannot be a^oubt. They 
occupy the mpst conspicuous and beautiful spots on the bank of* 
the M^iam, on. its tributaries and numerous canals : you never lose 
.aight^of them y frequently eight or ten are in view at the same mo- 
ment. In the most sequestered rural spots, they are always to be 
found ; and wherever a brick pathway leads into the depths of the 
forest, it is a Bure indication that there is a temple to be found. 
They are erected by pious individuals generally, believing that it 
will be the means of their souls being transmigrated into a higher 
and holier state of existence, than would otherwise enjoy ; they 
but most of them are built from ostentatious motives* 
- Tbey ate of brick; and plastered ; are one story in height, having 
neither arch nor^dome ; of a square form, and the roof is covered 
withnea^ coloured tiles, which gives th«n a gay appearance. At 
a first view, one is deceived, by supposing that there are three or 
four roofs to every building, as tliere are a series of them, which 
gradually diminish in size, to the main roof. The frcmts, or gable 
^nds, ai« laboriously and elegajitly carved, with fanciful devices, 
and richly gilded. The eaves, doors, and window-frames, are, 
more or less, carved and gilt, painted and vaniished. The doors 
and windows greatly resenable the pointed, or Gothic style of ar- 
chitecture. A figui'e of Budha, generally in a sitting posture, wear- 
ing the p6aked crown, and- having the soles of his holy feet turned 
upward, occupies nearly one entijre end of the building, and is 
usually surrounded by votaries of a small size. He is partially 
covered with yellow cloths, having a high umbrella suspended over 
his head. Incense is occasionally burnt before hini. The ceiling 
of the roof, which is flat, is painted -with vcrmillion, ornamented 
with gilded stars. The entire^ sides, doors, and window-shutters, 
are covered with figures, fruit, and fancy work of various kinds — ^ 
painted, vannshed, and gilt. The floors of most of- the buildings 
are of cement, having neither galleries, benches, nor seats of any 
kind, and scarcely a mat to kneel on. There are but few public 
temples; . Tlie front and rear of all have a portico. China plates, 
saucers, and common English crockery, stuck into plaster, intended 

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as ornaments, are seen on many of them ;. bits of coloured glass, 
also, make up part of the ornaments around the doors and windows. 
The images are either of brass or iron — ^brick plastered, and wood ; 
but all richly gilt and burnished. Two temples, of a lesser size, 
stand on either side of the principal : they are generally not so 
highly ornamented. Small pyramidal pagodas, of six or seven f^t 
in height, and open at the sides, surround these buildings, and 
contain ^o stones, or rather slabs, standing about six inches apart ; 
they are of thaexact shape of a bishop's mitre. I repeatedly asked . 
the use of them, or what they were intended to resemble ; but all 
professed their ignorance of their origin. In them were generally 
found palm-leaves, containing characters, written in, the sacred .or 
Bali and Siamese languages, strung together in the centre, at a 
proper distance. 

Small temples^ or rather buildings, for various purposes, occupy 
the fronts and sides, among whiqh, in a disUnct building, is the 
belfry, which is ascended by a fli^t of steps, containing generally 
five or six bells, having no tongues, but being sounded by mean9 
of a heavy stick, or piece of metal. 

Early in the morning, "when dying clouds contend i^rith grow- 
ing hght ;" when the fox-bat is returning from his nightly wander- 
ings, to suspend himself on the holy fig trees, which lie scattered 
about the temples of Budha, and Uke the midnight marauder, 
shrinks from the sacred light of day ; the tokay has ceased to send 
forth his harsh, loud, and monotonous cry ; the prowling. tiger hae 
retired to his lair ; the tuneful birds have chanted forth their first, 
matins, or the labourer has returned to his daily task ; . when every 
thing is hushed in the solemnity of night, in the stilbess of a tem- 
porary death, you are suddenly aroused by the din of the pagan 
bells, sounding far and wide dirough the depths of the surrounding 
palm-forests, summoning tlie worshippers of Gautama to early 
prayers* In the confusion #f the moment, between slumbering 
and waking, you are transported, in imagination, to far distant 
lands, where Uie Sabbath bell calls forth its votaries. But how 
great the contrast ! One summons to the worship of an imaginary 
god ; the other to the worship of the everlasting ^d true God, the 
Lord of all things— of light and life. 

Pra-chadis, or thin tall spires, £rom ti^enty to sixty feet in hei^t, 
are in great numbers ; and there is one at the krong or capital^ 

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which towers to the height,- probably, of a hundred and fifty feet. 
The houses of the Talapoys are contiguous to the temples, and are 
generally shaded by fruit and forest trees. Small temples, having 
a hi^ roof, and four Wide avenues leading to the centre, for the 
burning of the richer sort, and a raised platform in the open air^ 
for those who can only pay small fees, are placed. at the most con- 
venient spot near the water. A long bath, or small pond, contain- 
ing young alligators, seems to be a necessary appendage to all tem- 
ples. The grounds about the front of many of the richer temples, 
are neatly and prettily laid out with avenues, clumps of trees, 
shrubbery, &c. The priests derive a considerable revenue by 
making small images, either of the unconsumed bones of certain 
deceased persons, or else of conunon clay, gilt^ and also by writing 
on palm-trees, certain moral or reUgiou^ sentences, in the sacred 
language.v The Indian lotus, with its broad leaf, is nowhere 
neglected, but is found about every temple, growing from large 
porcelain or stone vases, neatly, and sometimes elaborately wrought. 
Every Siamese temple is not only a place for worship, but it is 
likewise a monastery : females cure in them, old and worn out, 
and their characters are far from being respected. They only do 
menial offices, dress in white, and have nothing to do with the wor- 
ship in the temples. As rice, their chief support, is abundant, it 
is but just that the Talapoys should support them in their old 
age. . 

The spot on which the present capital stands, and the country 
in its vicinity, on' both banks of the river f6r a considerable dis- 
tance, were formerly, before the removal of the court to its present 
situation* called Bang-kok ; but since that time, and for nearly six- 
ty years past, it has been named Sia yuthia, (pronounced See-aH 
you-td-ah, and by the natives, Krung, that is, the capital ;) it is called 
by both names here, but never Bang-kok ; and they always correct 
foreigners when the latter make this mistake. The villages which 
occupy the right hand of the river, oj^osite to the capital, pass 
under the general name of Bang-kok.' 

A Cochin-Chinese ambassador, with several junks, arrived here 
from Longuar (alias Saigon) a few dkys before our arrival, being 
the same mentioned previously. Ambassadors' junks of both na- 
tions, whenever they visit each other's country, or pay their annual 
tribute to China, are always well laden with goods, out and homey 


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289 EMB188Y TO TH< EAST. 

on account of the king or his ministers ; it is in part a trading ex- 
pedition, and the secret is, they are allowed to go dtity fiee^ as I 
have before stated. 

The object of the emperor of Cochin-China^ in this case, i« 
blended with a more serious piece of business ; it is no less Iha i 
to demand the delivery, to them, of the person o( the first minitler. 
of state, and superintendant of Pegu, and the principalitieaof Laus 
and Camboja, whose title is " Chan-phaya4>odin-desha ;'' he is a 
" meh-tap,'' or commander of the Siamese forces now in Cambp}a. 
It seems, in 1827, the Siamese government oppressed the subjects 
of one of the Laos tributary princes, Ghow-vin-^han, to such a de- 
gree, that he was obliged ^o take up arms in defence of his rights, 
against the neighbouring Siamese government ; this was the pomt 
to which the Siamese government wished io force him, for the 
purpose of taking into possession his territory. H(»rdes of soldiers 
were sent among them under the command of the said Chan- 
phaya-bodin-desha, and they committed all sorts of enormities; 
the country was stripped of its riches, and the inhabitants, fleeing 
from the enemy, were shot down indiscriminately like wild beasts; 
this process being found too tedious, thousands were packed into 
houses and blown up with gunpowder ; the younger women be- 
came the prey of a licentious soldiery, and the smoking ruins of a 
peaceable people marked the track of a band of savages, whose 
knives were steeped to the hilt in the blood of their fathers and 
mothers, husbands, wives, . and children. Those who escaped 
were sent to the capital and sold as slaves ; thousands and thou- 
sand3 died on the r^fts which floated th^m down the Menam, with 
wounds, sickness, and starvation. In fact, the country vicas aiade 
desolate, was in ruins ; " He made a solitude and called it peace." 
The survivors were never more to see their country; their soil 
was given to their savage invaders. In the midst of these horrible 
excesses, an ambassador from the emperor of Cochin-China was 
sent to the general in command, with the ostensible object of inter- 
posing in behalf of Chow-vin-chan and his family, who had fled 
into their territory^-not from motives of compassion, I conceive, 
for the present emperor of .Cochin-China is an ignorant, blood- 
thirsty savage, and pursues bis enemy, where he dares, with aa 
unrelenting hand. The object was, in truth, to prevent the con- 
quest of the kingdom of Laos by Siam, which would give the Si- 

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amese a better chance cf obtaining a larger sliee at a future day, - 
which they had long contemplated with eager and with gloat- 
ing eyes. The Siamese commajider, smarting with all his wounds, 
and red-hot from the bloody battle-field, or to speak less hypeibol- 
ically, not having filled a heavy purse from the spoils of the con- 
quered, anticipating a golden harvest from the onward march, and 
feeling deeply indignant at the insidious policy of his wfly neigh- 
bours, ordered an instantaneous massacre of the envoy and his 
suite of a hundred men, with the exception of one, who was sent 
back to say, " I alone am left out of all my brethren.'* Highly en- 
raged as was the emperor at the fell sw^op of the embassy, and 
the gross violation of the law of nations, he dissembled/ not daring 
to wage a war or revenge cruelty by cru'ehy ; for his crazy, dis- 
jointed, and puny government would probably crumble into atoms, 
the moment a large force should quit the kingdom. 

The Cochin-Chinese government are aware that the Tung-kinese, 
on the north, are watching keenly for the first possible chance 
which ojQfers of freeing themselves &om their despotic oppressors ; 
the Cambojans on the south are desirous also of measuring the 
length of their swords with their hard task-masters, and the lower 
class of Cochin-Chinese, which comprise nine hundred and nine- 
ty-nine of the tliousand, are ripe for a revolt ; being groimd to the 
earth by the higher orders. They are ragged, filthy, and starving, 
firom the gulf of Tung-king to the gulf of Siam, and from the coast 
washed by the China sea, to the boundaries of his " golden-fooled 
majesty.'^ Year after year this demand has been made and evaded, 
and so far from his Siamese majesty ever intending to comply with 
it, he has lately sent this same " Meh-tap" into that part of Cam- 
boja which fell to his majesty's share in the division .of that king- 
dom with Cochin-China, to receive, and to protect from capture, 
the many thousands of Cambojans, who have recently fled inta the 
Siamese territory. The ambassador paid his first visit a few days 
after his arrival, to the chow-pia-praklang, and was treated with 
bare civility ; he was told, by order of his majesty, that a copy of 
the same letter which wns sent to his majesty the last year, was 
all the answer which would be returned to the letter received firom 
the emperor through his hands. His- audience with, the king, 
which todk place a few days previously to ours, was marked by 
no distinguished honours ; the pomp and parade exhibited to us were 

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•dispensed with upon that occasion. It is said by Mr. Silveiia, 
and all others, that no embassy from a'foreign country eyer had so 
favourable and honourable a reception av ours, marked at the same 
time with the most extraordinary despatch ever known. 

This same emperor of Cochin-China, this deep sympathizer ia 
&e wrongs of the people of Lao, has lately persecuted to death a 
handful of poor Roman Catholics, all who would not trample on 
the cross and renounce Christianity. To conclude, the Chow-vin- 
chan and family wei^ betrayed into the hands of the Siamese. 
Sickness, distress of mind, and long exposure to the elements, for* 
tunately put an end to the prince. He died in a cage, a few days 
before his cruel oppressors intended to put him and his fiimily to 
the most excruciating tortures ; the heir apparent escaped, but 
committed suicide by throwing himself from the roof of a temple 
to the ground, rather than fall into the hands of his blood-thirsty 
pursuers. The female part of the family receive a scanty subsist- 
ance from the government and remain in the capital. Thus ended 
the dynasty of Chow-vin-chan, adding another victim to the millions 
that have heretofore perished, from the effect of inordinate ambitioo. 

The barbarous conduct of the Siamese last year, in the Malay 
peninsula, in sending hordes of soldiers, or rather common coolies, 
uilder the command of the chow-pia praklang, which destroyed Pa- 
tani, Singora, &c., plundering them of their property, and sending 
nearly five thousand prisoners as slaves to this place, which had 
been given away, or " sold in lots to suit purchasers ;" the thou- 
sands that died from wounds, bad treatment, and starvation— de- 
serve the bitter execration of every friend of humanity. 

Education is carried to a very limited extent ; a mere smattering 
only is generally diffused among the Siamese, in reading, writing, 
and arithmetic. The ^unn-pavirn is in general use as an assistant 
in making calculations. Those who wish to attain to a greater 
degree of knowledge, niore particularly in the Pali or sacred 
language, resort to the monasteries of the Talapoys. In their 
composition, (if I may be allowed to judge from the various articles 
of the treaty, being again and again altered to make thetn clear and 
perspicuous,) they are fond^ of being ambiguous in all their forms 
of expression. There was always a disposition evinced to hint 
obscurely at things, like the Chinese, rather than express their foU 

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A plain inimasked. style, in speaking or writing, is totally un- 
known to a cringing people, born under a despotic government ; 
but they are rapidly becoming wiser. Their intercourse with the 
English and Americans is gradually bringing about a more honest, 
manly, and open mode of expressing themselves, both in speaking 
and writing ; but it can never be thoroughly effected under such a 
form of government as the present. The lower classes of the 
people are obliged to make use of gross flattery and adulation to 
their superiors, who again treat them as slaves, using high authori- 
tative language. Subordination in rank js so strongly n^acked, that 
not the slightest appearance of equality is to be seen. They attach 
a ridiculous importance to mere form and ceremony. A Siamese, 
in the presence of a superior, either crouches to the ground, or 
walks with his body bent. It seems utterly impossible for him to 
sit or walk in an upright posture. Women are allowed more firee- 
dom here, than in any other country where polygamy is tolerated. 
They wear no veils, and almost hourly boat-loads of the wives of 
the nobility were seen to pass ; the curtains were drawn aside to 
satisfy their curiosity, which always appeared to be more ardent 
than purs. ~ The lower orders of women, apparently, do most of the 
labours of the field, and are employed in the boats on the river in 
great numbers. They are the principal traders,and nje said to be 
rery shrewd and cunning. < 

The most conspicuous objects which strike the eye of the 
traveller on the Menam, besides the splendid wats, are the new 
palace, a large watch-tower, and a prachade or tall thin spire, 
which is many feet higher than any other building; all are 
situated within the walls of the city. The palace itself, with its 
pagodas, and many other buildings, is surrounded by a high wall, 
having strong gates, and a guard of a miserable and undisciplined 
militia. The palace is a handsome and extensive building of brick, 
and stuccoed ; the doors and windows are similar in style, taste, 
and outward decorations to the better class of temples, and bear a 
strong resemblance to the Gothic style of architecture. It has a 
high cupola, formed by a aeries of roofs, or it rather resembles a 
conical umbrella diminishing in size to the spire, which is without 
decorations, and rises to the height, perhaps, of one hundred, and 
sixty feet. The roof of the building has also a diminishing series 
of roofs like the pagodas, and it is covered with very neat coloured 

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tiles. The cupola appears to be gilded upon copper, or more prob* 
ably slabs of tin. 

The walchtower is of the height of the paTace, and is an oblong 
square building; the base is probably one hundred feet square, 
built of brick and plastered, having a guard*house and strong gates ; 
fifty feet from the base commences the first look-out room, and 
there are two others above it. In them are gongs and bells, whidi 
give notice of an enemy, or a fire, or an insurrection ^f the people. 
The inhabitants are at once informed by the sound of cme of these 
instruments^ of the calamity which assails them, each one being ap- 
propriated to one of these particular objects. A few days before 
the procession of the wang-na took place, there arrived the governor 
of Ligor, /whose title is chow^-phay-a-lakhcw, alias Ligor; he 
commands one of the most important provinces belonging to the 
Siamese, in the Malay peninsula, is a Siamese by birUi, a man of 
pov^erful talents> fond of Europeans, and adopts all their improve- 
ments in the mechanic arts. His boats are handsomely modelled^ 
carrying two or three fore and aft sails ; they are coppered, carry a 
suitable number of cannon, and every thing about them is in ex- 
cellent order. The model is superior to that of the king's, having a 
greater breadth of beam, and they are of a greater le%)gth. The 
soldiers are well and uniformly clothed, and well drilled with the 
musket and the use of the bayonet, according to the tactics of the 
Europeans. There is son^e trade from the port of Ligor, in what 
is generally called the Mabiyan produce, vizw :— rtins, black pepper, 
rattans, rice, sapan-woods, &c., and severd small cargoes of cot- 
ton are taken away annually by Chinese junks. Four of his. sons 
govern other provinces in the peninsula ; the eldest is governor of 
Qucdah, the former king of which now remains at Pulo Penang, 
or Prince of Wales island. 

Although the British agreed by treaty, on the cession to the 
Pulo Penangi to protect hipi and his kin^om against any invasion 
by the Siamese, yet the latter were suffered to capture Quedah, 
and the British violated their treaty, for they offered no assistance. 
The king fled to Penang for protection, demanded to be jeinstated, 
and was refused. Major Bumey, in order to obtain a favourable 
commercial treaty with the Siamese, agreed tplceep him a prisoner, 
and he is now in durance, living upon a small salary, under British 
protection. . The cause of the failure of Mr. Crawford-s mission, 

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TBA — RAINS. 287 

vras his refusal to deliver him to the Siamese, or confine him as a 
close prisoner. 

The governor of Ligor was ordered here to attend the po» 
cession and burning of the wang-na; and it was also necessary he 
should be here at the commencement of the new year, to renew 
his oatli of allegiance. He is a powerful chief; the government 
is alarmed at the extent of his power, but they dare not dispossess 
hirn of his government, or. do his person any violence, for his sons 
would most certainly avenge his cause, and the king^s possessions 
in the Malay peninsula, would probably be lost to him. 

The Chinese, who are noted every where for their villanous 

tricks, import large quantities of ordinary goods here, as well as 

those of a good quality — ^among other articles is tea. A story I 

heard almost daily in Canton, respecting the gross imposition 

practised upon foreigners in this article, here proved to be true.' 

It is a well-known fact, that all the tea used in China, particularly 

about Canton, is bought up again, ^* fired anew^ as it is termed, 

and coloured green ; even black teas, it is said, are thus coloured, 

by the use of smalts, and then exported to various coimtries. Tea 

of a good quality is exceedingly scarce here, and at a high price, 

notwithstanding the proximity to China, and the great number of 

junks which enter here from all the maritime jHrovinces of that 


Until the ascension of the present king to the throne^ it was a 
custom with the sovereigns of the country to hold the plough at the 
commencements of the rains, which generally take place at the 
latter end of April or beginning of May; this is now dispensed 
with, and one of the nobility is appointed instead of the monarch. 

The rains continue till September, when the lower part of the 
Menam begins to rise, and it is at its utmost height in November and 
December : it then begins to subside. Its rise is generally from 
twelve to sixteen fe6t, but two years since it rose to the height of 
twenty-one feet. 

The thermometer is occasionally a^ low as 73° in the months 
of December and January, during the height of the northeast 

Vast numbers of boats and rafts, bringing in the productions of 
the upper country, visited the capital diuring the .flood above 
alluded to. 

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AprU second. Haviiig received an invitation from his majesty 
through the praklang, some days since, to witness the procession 
of the remains of the late second king to the funeral pile, and 
this day being set apart for that purpose, a suitable boat was sent 
to us early by the praklang, and soon after seven in the morning, 
we proceeded across the river to the city. 

The party in the praklang's boat consisted of Mr. Hunter, Dr. 
Ticknor, Lt. Fowler, Mr. Morrison and myself— and in my boat 
were Midshipmen Rumfort, Weed and Wells, Mr. Robinson, &c.| 
&C., and Raymondo the Portuguese interpreter. We landed near 
one of the city-gates and passed through it to the place assigned us, 
a great concourse of people being collected in the principal str^ 
through whic|i the procession was to pass. > 

Finding the place by no means convenient to see the procession, 
owing to die lownesa of the roof of the building, and being annoyed in 
some degree by the concourse of people who camef to have a sight 
rf us, (althou^ they were altogether civil in ihcir conduct,) I tnade 
known to the interpreter that we must remove from that place to 
one more commodious. Shortly after we went near to a part of the 
king's palace : it was an open building standbug on columns of 
about twenty feet square,having a tiled roof; mats were spread on 
a part of it for oar accommodation. The praklang was diere and a 
prince of Lao, &c., &c. The former shortly took leave to attend the 
procession, having seen that we were properly accommodated. At 
nine,or rather at three, in Siamese time, the procession commenced 
and continued about an hour and a quartCT, in the following order : — 
First : several hundred standard bearers (three hundred and eighty* 


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four,) dressed in red embroidered cloth, .wearing caps of the same 
material ; the banners were of silk richly embroidered with gold 
of a triangular shape, bearing devices of dragons, serpents, &c^ all 
neatly embroidered also. A band of music, consisting of drums, 
harmonicon and small hautboys, accompanied them. 

Second : a young rhinoceros of about four feet in heightydrawn 
by a party of soldiers dressed in embroidered blue cloth long jack- 
ets, on a sledge or low carriage, having on his back a small gilded 
castle and containing in the centre a small bundle of Talapoy or 
yellow cloths. 

Third : two horses having two pairs of wings, about five feet 
in height, bearing similar castles with Talapoy cloths; one of 
them was spotted with red and the other with blue. 

Fourth: two gigantic cocks, with demons' head^ having four 
wings, castles, &c., of various colours. 

Fifth : two four-winged elephants, full size, one wliite and one 
green, bearing castles and cloth, followed by a band of music. 

Sixth : two gigantic cocks with, cocks' heads, four wings, beasts' 
t^s, and partly human bodies, castles, &c., accompanied by a band 
of music ; colours of these nondescripts were various. 
, Seventh: two more with cocks' bodies and tails, four wings, 
'With elephants' trunks and tusks, gilt castles and cloth. 

Eighth: two more cocks with four wings, castles, Scc^ but a 
little different from the seventh. 

Ninth : two cocks with griffin-legs and human arms, four wings, 
castle and cloth. 

Tenth : two cocks with long snouts, four wings, castle and cloth. 

Eleventh : two horses with dragons' tails, four wings, castles, &c. 
Then came one hundred and twenty men carrying flowers made of 
yellow or Talapoy cloth, having artificial green leaves : they were 
of the shape of a sunflower and attached to bamboo-poles ten or 
twelve feet in length. 

Twelfth : two horses' bodies, with elephants' heads and snakea* 
tails, four wings, castles, &c. 

Thirteenth : two cocks' with horses bodies, four wings, castles, &c« 

Fourteenth : two lions, with deers' horns, wings, castles. Sec. 

Fifteenth : two lions, with horses' bodies, long tails, wings, &c« 

Sixteenth : two leopards^ with elephants' heads and tusks, wings, 
dec, &c. 

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Seyenteenth : two elephants' bodies, with non-descript hetds, 
wings, &c^ &c., colottTy a dark ground with white spots. 

Eightaealh : two horses, coTered with green circles, cocks' crsstSi 
lions' tafls, wings, &c^ &c 

Nineteenth : two striped and spotted leopards, with wings, cas« 
ties, &ۥ 

All the above animals were from four to six feet in height ; they 
were made of bamboo frame and covered with paper ; the different 
pairs were yariously painted and gilt, striped, spotted, in circles, 
&c^ dtc. They were drawn on low sledges, sometimes by men 
sdone,' dressed in blue or green doth, embroidered with the figure 
of a tiger, and caps to correspond, with waist-cloths of all colours { 
others by men and horses : all the animals were in pairs, and about 
twenty feet apart : they had four wings each, and bore small gilded 
towers on their backs, containing cm a salver, cloths of yeUoir^ 
intended as oflferings to the Talapoys. 

Then followed one hundred and thirty men with tom*toms or 
drums, which they struck occasionally with a covered stick. They 
were dressed in coarse red cotton jackets, caps, and drawers- reach* 
ing to the knee. 

These were followed by seven hundred men representing angels, 
dressed in long white frocks, having white high peaked caps in the 
style of the royal crown of Siam. These represented celestial 
messengers, and were to show the soul of the deceased the way to 
heaven : each one bore the sacred Indian lotus and leaf, artificially 
made : these were aiccompanied by a great number of musicians^ 
having trumpets and small brass horns, making a great discord : 
then sixty*four conical umbrellas, each consisting of five separate 
pieces : they were about fifteen feet high, the lowest part being 
about four feet in diameter and were made of cloth of gold and 
Between each two of these men,was carried what resembled a sec» 
tion of a bishop's mitre, similar in appearance to those placed 
in front of all the wats. They were fastened to the tops of 
staves, of about nine or ten feet in length, and were flat, broad, 
neatly ornamented, and gilt. 

Following these, came the san-krat, or Siamese bishop, appa- 
rently reciting prayers, in a car about twenty feet high. This car- 
riage was broad at the base, gradually lessening to the seat ; neatly 

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carred axMl gilt> and sparUiiig with yarioas coloared g^aaa. The 
carriage wlui drawn by %ix horses, and led by servants. Thea 
came, dressed in a robe of gold tissue, one of the^yamgeat aoasof 
the deceased, wearing a royal gilt cap, in a car nearly snnilar to 
^ last, and drawn in like manner. An immense white umbiella 
was held over him, conical umbrellas at each comer, and fiaor long 
gold £uis, pear-shaped : these are a sign^f royalty. Then came 
another son of the deceased king, weaxing the royal peaked cap, in 
a carriage like the last, drawn by one hundred men, in embroidered 
green dresses and red caps, asmted by five horses richly caparisoned, 
holding in his hand the end of a broAd sash of silver tissue, which 
was comiected with the funeral car of his father, being about thirty, 
forty, or fifty feet distant. This latter car was about twenty-fiye ieei 
in hd^t. It ¥ras elegantly decorated with carved work,^ superior 
to its predecessors, and highly gilt. The bqfly wad seated in a 
square gilt tower, having gilt network sidet, and was supported 
by two angels, kneeling, in front and rear. The car was drawn 
by angels dressed similarly to the fcnrmer, and also by horses. 
Many of the high officers of state walked in single files by the aide 
of the carriage, dressed in white musUn, and peaked ci^s, carrying 
while wands.' 

The body was placed in a sitting posture, vrith the knees dxmn 
up to the chin, and the hands united in the attitude of prayer : it was 
■aid to be embalmed. 

* Eight hundred ai^els next foDovred, m two Unes^ ioceeeded by 
A large carriage, containii^ Agila, and othet odonfereua woods, for 
consmuing the remain^ of the deceased. 

' The preceding carriages were all similar in atructnie, and from 
eighteen to twenty-five feet in height to Ike top of ^e towers, fifteen 
ieet in length, and ten feet in vridth. The wheels were of a solid 
piece of wood, and about two feet in diameter, similar to those 
used in bufihlo^carts in Manila, Sumatra, and Java : the carriage 
being broad at the base, and gradually lessening to the tower, and 
€3i an oblong form. 

Following the foregoing, came six open carriages, covered with 
beautifully figured cloth of gold, containing Talapoy cloths. 

Fifty*six umbrella towers, of a very large size, being a series of 
canopies, gradually lessening to the top, covered with rich gold 
-cloth, havmg tassels of green, red, &c., dec. 

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One liuiidred men with green and gQt drums, or tom-toms, wear- 
ing red cotton frocks and caps. 

One hundred and fifty men bearing artificial ]rellow flowery mad« 
0f Takpojr cloth, similar to those aheady described. On each 
flask were men carrying artificial yellow flowers, like those befoM 
named. Then followed : — 

Three pairs of horses' bodies, with non-descript heads, cocks* 
crests, lions' tails, dec. ' 

Two pairs, wtdi giants' heads and bodies, cocks* tails and legs, 
in .green and gold. 

Two pairs, with <:ocks' legs apd fishes' tails, in white andgold. 

Two pairs, with gorgmis' he$ds, hmnan bodies, lions' tails, m 
white aad'gcAi. 

Two pairs lions, painted blue. 

Two pairs, yellow, with horns. 

Two pairs, blue, ^th horns. 
' Two pairs, yellow, no horns : All having gilt towers, containing 
Talapoy cloths« 

Fifty men, canying rich silk embroidered penhants. 

ThMi f<^wed on horseback^ in pairs, four princes, two and two^ 
wearing the goId-pesJied crown, and dressed in long robes of silver 
tissue : following them, eight more, of a lower rank. These were 
succeeded by a great number of slaves or attendants, dressed in 
white waist-cloths. The horses were richly caparisoned, with 
g<dd housings, bridles, dec, and led by slaves. At every few steps 
they wouU stop, and the attendants in frpnt would kneel down, 
facing their masters, as well as those in the rear. . 

Preceding every prince, went a man, bearing a bundle of rods, 
like a Roman lictor. In the rear were open palanquins, having 
gdd, or- richly gilt supporters on the sides, and rich velvet cushions. 
Then followed a vast concourse of people, but all preserving good 

There was an immense muhitude convened to witness this splen- 
did funeral procession. Governors and rajahs from distant prov- 
inces of the Sdmpire, came, by order of his majesty, each tme 
bringing a gift to assist in paying the enonnous expenses attending 
this idle and useless ceremony. Here were assemtded persons of 
all nations. From the western hemisphere, Americans ; from the 
east, Indians, Arabs, Bengalese, Bvurmese^ Pequane^ Malays, Su- 

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matmifly Javanese, . Cochin-Chinese, Cambojans^ the Chana, or 
people of Lao, Siamese, Sec, ; and anu»ig the whole of Ihem no 
sexious impression coald possibly have been made. It could <»ily 
be considered a fine farcical scene, a pretty laree show, got np as a 
benefit far the king and his ministers, (far it is expected thai every 
one, who is able, will contribute something,) to show the. public 
that splendid mausoleums aie only fit for the great of the land, and 
that the vulgar herd must be burnt in the common way, eithei 
under a shed, ot else on a raised platform in the 6p^ air: to im- 
press their minds with the magnificence of majesty, and, at the 
same time, to strike them with awe and fear, so that they may be 
more easily ruled by the iron hand of despotism. 

This whole assembled multitude (with the exception of our party) 
crouched to the ground like base slaves, whenever any of the higher 
ranks passed. Along an extensive street, on one ude, were play- 
houses erected, open to public use, in which were exhibited shows 
of all kinds, and fireworks might be seen nightly^ within the en* 
closure surrounding the temporary funeral pile. His majesty was 
desirous we should witness the burning of the body on the funeral 
pile, which was to take place the seventh day after this procession ;* 
bnt the ^ip was in want of provisions ; the southwest monsoon 
was about comniencing, which is generally attended with violent 
squalls and heavy rains, the ship was liding at anchor ten or 
twelve miles firom the mouth of the river, in five and a half fathoms' 
water, in a very exposed rituation ; and it was necessary to being 
our water some forty* miles, near the city, besides which, tbe only 
provisions to be obtained, were fawls, pork, and rice. 
' The Budhist religion of Siam, according to historians, originated 
in Magadha, the modem Behar, in the sixth century, (or 54^) tbe 
founder being Gautama, the son of a prince, called Sudfaodana. 
After many centuries it was introduced into Ceylon ; $tnd in die 
seventh century of the Christian era, first into Camboja, and from 
thence into Lao; and lastly, into Siam. Sons^nona Eodom,'the 
cattle stealer, a Singalese, was the missionary who-first propagated 
this religion in those countries. He is described- as being benev- 

^ * One of the eons of the wang-na w^^hes at the temple, neer the fimenil pile, night 
and day, till the body is conaamed ; the aahea of the coDsnmed body axe then thrawn 
into &e river with many ceremonies ; and the mconsumed booes are then detiTered to 
the pnests, and made into hoaeehold gods. 

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Vm.} 3DDHI8M IN 81 AM. 295 

olent m the extreme. He eten carried his zeal so far, as to mur- 
der his whole family, (considering them as encumbrances upon his 
country,) so that he might maintain a greater number of priests. 
He was renowned for the daily mortifications of his body, his 
fastings, his prayers, his miracles, and the fantastic appearance he 
could assume — ^now swelling to the size of a mountain, and again 
shrinking to a mere atom. But notwithstanding he possessed great 
supernatural powers, he could not resist the cravings of an tm* 
saint-Uke appetite ; for eating a large quantity of pork one day, he 
died in a fit of anger, because he had transgressed one of his rules, 
and thereby set a bad example to his disciples. 

All professors of Budhism, whether of Tartary or Magadha origin, 
are atheists. . They do not believe in one God, the creator of the 
universe. The leading doctrine of this religion, is that of die 
transmigration of souls. 

After being purged of all their sins, by being punished in some 
one or all ef their numerous heUs^ having practised the regular 
number of virtues, they believe that they will at length reach the 
highest of all their more numerous heavens, and then no longer 
come into existence or die ; that then they are emancq^ated fi:^m 
all the cares and passions which belong to our natures, and sink 
into annihilation. 

Here they will enjoy the company of the blessed Guatama, who 
occupies the uppermost seat, and that of many worthies who will 
there be founds yet tfae^ existence of the founder of their religion 
is limited to a term of five thousand years, and nearly one half of 
that time hat actually expired. The Budhists say the world was 
created by chance; it will be destroyed and reproduced, and 
destroyed again and again. 

Tlie founder of this religion — seeing that all mankind was in a 
slate of gross ignorance and barbarism, ferocious, their feet swift 
to shed blood, that they were given up to 41 life of rapine — per- 
suaded them that it was a sin to shed the blood of any living 
creature ; that they must cultivate the soil, and live in peace and 
harmony with all mankind. 

He, Uierefore, enjoined on his converts the following moral pre- 
cepts, viz. : — ^First : . Thou shalt not kill any living creature. Sec- 
ond: Steal not. Third: Commit not adultery. Fourth: Thou 
shalt not lie or prevaricate. Fifth : Thou shalt not be guilty of 

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drunkeimessy or use any intpzicating drugs. Sixth : Eat nol after 
noonday. Beventh : Frequent not play-houses, or any place of 
amusement. Eighih : Use no perscmd amusements. Ninth : 
Sleep on a clean mat, akid use no costly, soft, richy or derated 
beds. Tenth: Dooot borrow or run. in debt. 

The first commandment is violated in e¥«ry war that takes 
place ; and how many instances have we on record of blood being 
poured out in profusion, to make clear the path for the ascension 
to the throne of a lawful sovereign or a usurper, or for some more 
trivial object. The clergy and laity also daily partake of fish, 
flesh, and fowl ; but they consider the crime of kiUing them as at- 
tached to the vender only, although they may hire him to commit the 
act. The second and third are but little attended to. As it regards 
the fifth, the large revenue, derived firoi6 the distilling of arrack, is 
a convincing proof of its general use ; and wine and spirits foim a 
part of the cargo of every English and American vessel,which are 
sold at a good profit; aad the us^ of (^ium is likewise rapidly 
increasing, notwithstanding its use is prohibited by their laws 
and religion. As for the last five commandments, they are im« 
perative mi Talapoys only, and they do, or do not, observe them» 
as it suits their inclination. As for the fourth, it is considered 
quite obsolete ; I believe, it is observed or not, as it may subserve 
the interests or ccnvenience of either the clei^ or the laity. If 
there were not so great a number of Talapoys employed in cutting 
grass for the king's elephants, one would be led to suppose that 
the third commandment was orginaUy intended to be observed 
more strictly among them than it now is, but he must first be 
stripped of his sacerdotal vestments, before he can be punished by 
the secular arm. 

All spiritual concerns are delegated to the priests. A strict ob- 
servanoe of religious duties is not expected from the laity ; if they 
administer to the daily necessities of the clergy, pay them the 
customary honours, and strictly attend to the observance of the 
holy day, dec, they consider that they have fidly acquitted them- 
selves of every essential part of their duty. Almost every free« 
man in Siam is, for a longer or shorter period of time, a priest. 
If married, he must be divorced, having previousljr made a suitable 
provision for his family. If he enters the priesthood a second 

timoi it is lor life. There are six grades of priests ; they enter as 


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noviciates, and are promoted according to their respectire merits. 
Above all| is the san-krat, bishop or high^priest, who receives his 
appointment from the king. 

The sovereign is the pope, or real head of the religion of the 
comitry, and the priests depend wholly upon him for promotion, 
and in a great measure for subsistence; he is always deemed 
holy, and must have been truly virtuous in a former life, to have 
attained his present eminence. Eighty-four thousand six hundred 
bats or ticals, equal to the sum of about fifty^three thousand five 
hundred dollars, are placed dowii among the items of the expendi- 
tures of the government, for the year 1832, as given in alms to the 
priests by the king. The Talapoys cannot be engaged in any of 
the temporal concerns of life ; they must not trade or do any kind 
of inanual labour, for the sake of a reward ; they are not allowed 
to imuU the earth by digging it. Having no tie, which unites 
their interests vith those of the people, they are ready, at. all 
times, with spiritual arms, to enforce obedience to the will of the 
sovereign. . 

No Talapoy can ordain a layman, without first obtaining a li- 
cense from the san-krat, and all classes of* people pay him un- 
bounded honours. Secular persons must make obeisance to 
Talapoys — even parents to their children ; this mark of homage is 
considered as their due, and, therefore, they never return the salu- 
tation. One strong inducement to enter the priesthood, is on 
exemption from the conscription law, which bears so heavily 
upon the people ; to avoid paying taxes, and to obtain an easy 

Their time must be spent in' studying the sacred Pali or Bali 
language, in reading hymns, prayers, and moral discourses, and 
begging: for they must not lay in a store of food, nor make any 
arrangement for preparing it for use, but stiQ they employ others 
for that purpose. 

They are forbid to be burdensome to beast or tree ; but it seems 
they may be so to their own species. Twice in the months tho 
head and eyebrows must be shaved, as a token of mortification, 
and to render them less captivating to the fair Siamese. Attached 
to all temples are monasteries, slenderly endowed by the govern- 
ment or rich individuals — ^yet by far the largest part of their sup- 
port is derived from casual alms and gifts. Early in the momingi 


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they may be seen in great numbers, sallying forth in their yellow 
dresses, which are either of silk or Cotton ; some carrying a large 
bason, and others with their scrip, suspended over the^left shoulder 
by a band of yellow cloth ; this is made of a composition of iron 
and sand, and it is exceedingly brittle. These pots are manu- 
factured just without the walls of the city, on the south side. They 
are covered with a material more or less rich, according to the 
ability of the owner. Great numbers of Talapoys are seen rowing 
their little boats, in search of alms, liaving then no protection for 
their closely shayen heads against the heat of a powerful sun. But 
when they go out for exercise, or to pay a yisit, they use a long 
neat pear-shaped palm-leaf fan, called talapat. When they present 
themselves at the foot of a ladder, or in front of a floating-house, 
they never ask for charity, but wait patiently till they are supplied 
with clothing or food : it is received in dilence, and they never 
return thanks to the donor. 

Siam appears to have no place in history, prior to the introduc* 
tion of the Budhist religion, in the year of Christ, 638, when a 
sovereign by the name of Krek governed the country. In 1621, 
their first intercourse with Europeans (the Portuguese) took place. 
There were two revolutions, and the country was conquered by the 
Burmans, and recovered again its independence between A. D. 
1547 and 1596. In the year 1612, the first English ship made 
her appearance, and ascended the river to Yuthia, the ancient cap- 
ital, about fifty miles above the present seat of government. In 
the year 1621, a Portuguese mission was sent to Siam, by the 
Portuguese viceroy of Goa ; and in the same year, some Roman 
Catholic missionaries first niade their appearance. In 1627, an- 
other revolution took place, which placed a new dynasty on the 
throne. In 1684, the son of the usurper was instigated by Con- 
stantino Phanlcon, a Greek adventurer, to send an embassy to 
Louis XIV< In 1685, the Chevalier Chaumont was sent there, at 
the head of a splendid embassy, which was the cause, in 1687, of 
sending a second mission, with a squadron of ships and five hun- 
dred soldiers. The total destruction of the English took place at 
Mitgni, this year, in consequence, it is said, of their overbearing 
and insolent conduct ; and, in the year following, their factory at 
Yuthia was removed. In 1690, a revolution took place, and the 
reigning family lost Uie 'Aaone ; the minister, Phanlcon, lodt his 

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life, and the French were expelled from the country, which de- 
stroyed their hopes of establishing a French empire fn the East* 
until the year 1787, when they made that famous treaty with 
Cochin-China, ceding the peninsula of Haw, the bay of Turam, 
&c..; but which failed in consequence of the troublesome state of 
public affairs in France, at that period, followed by the revolution. 
Since that time, and within the last five years, the French govern- 
ment sent a frigate to Cochin-China, and endeavoured, but without 
effect, to have the treaty ratified. The dynasty of 1690 reigned till 
the capture of the capital by the Burmans, under Shembuan, the 
second son of Alompia, which look place in 1767, when the king 
was killed' at the entrance of his palace. 

The Burman ariny retired with great plunder, after destroying 
vast numbers of the inhabitants, making slaves of others, destroy- 
ing the temples, and committing ievery sort of excess. The Siamese 
immediately ^ose upon the Burmans who remained, and massacred 
them and their partisans. 

A chief, of Chinese descent, Pla-tah, alias, Phria-metah, in 1767, 
seized upon the throne, and proclaimed himself king. In the early 
part of his Teign, he behaved with moderation, good sense, and 
discernment, and his courage was unquestionable. He recon- 
quered Piseluk and Ligor, which had declared themselves inde- 
pendentf during the Burmese invasion : but in the last year of his 
reign, he ruled in so strange a manner, that it was generally be- 
lieved he was insane. His tyrannical and capricious conduct, in 
1782, was the cause of a formidable" rebellion, under the chakri, so 
called, being the title of a great officer of state : it ended in the 
dethronement and death o{ the king, in the same jrear, at the pres- 
ent capital. The chakri reigned ih his stead, until his death, in 
1809. His eldest son then mounted the throne, but not without 
opposition, for there was a large parly in favour of his nephew, the 
prince Chow Fit, (or Chabu Pha.) He commenced his reign by 
committing an act of great atrocity, ordering, within thirty-six hours 
titer the death of his father, the execution of upward of a hundred 
persons, sTipposed to be inimical to his right to the throne, including 
his nephew. 

After the committal of this sanguinary act, he ruled with great 
moderation. Nothing of much importance occurred. Three abor* 
tive attempts at insurrection took .place during hit veign ; om was 

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by the Talapoys, occasioned by an attempt to force a large number 
of their order into the ranks of the army. 

The acquisition of the fertile and extensive proyinoe of Batalang, 
in Camboja, took place the saine year be ascended the throne. 
The year following, tlieir implacable enemy, the Burmese, captured 
the island Junli Ceylon, on the western coast of the Malay penin* 
aula, which was shorUy after recaptured by the Siamese, attended 
with scenes of great barbarity. Since the conquest of the Burman 
empire by the British, the Siamese have lost all dread of their 
ancient enemy. 

In July, 1 824, the father of the present king died very suddenly^ix 
was said of stranguary, but not without strong suspicions of his 
being poisoned ; in fact, it is said, by every one, that this was the 
cause of his death. His eldest, but illegitimate son, Chromas Chit, 
ascended the throne the same day, without bloodshed; to the tex- 
clusion of the rightful heir, prince Chow-Pha-Yai, who inunediately 
embraced the priesthood, in order to save his life, or his liberty, or 
because he would jiot do liomage to a usurper. His younger 
brother Chow-Phoi-Noif* otherwise Mom-fa-Noiy was the next 
kgitimate heir to the throne. He lives at the Portuguese fort, on 
the right bank of the river, opposite to the palace, and is now about 
twenty.-five years of age. 

Joined. to a playful disposition, he possesses considerable abili- 
ties ; he is a friend to the mechanic arts, and to the sciences ; and 
very friendly disposed, as well as his elder brother, towards foreign- 
ers. He seems solicitous to become acquainted with all the Euro- 
peans and Americans ; and not a day or evening passed, during 
our stay there, but his boat was sent, desiring the ccnnpany of some 
of the gentlemen residing at the mission house. In the night-time, 
by stealth, he went down the river and visited the Peacock, having 
previously received letters from Captain G. to his first officer. He 
examined the ship throughout ; the men were mustered to quarters, 
and went through the exercise of the great guns, small arms, &c. 
Never having seen a man-of-war before, he appeared to be aston- 
ished at the neatness of the ship, the order, regularity, and activity, 
of the men when at quarters; and stated, after his return, he was 
exceedingly surprised at every .thing he saw, and highly gratified 

• He ipetks and write^ike Engiiah kngoage ^th contidenble flaeacj, and hit pi%* 
lisTMycQixact j ' • 

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-with his visit. A strict secresy was enjoined upon every one, not 
to divulge this visit, or it might cost him his liberty, or, perhaps^ 
his life. He made application, afterward, through the praklang, 
to the king, to pay a visit, which was granted ; but there was not 
time ; he was obliged to be present at all the ceremonies attending 
the burning of Ihe second king.* 

The government of Siam is a despotism, subject to no restraint 
except the apprehension of popular tumult or foreign invasion. The 
fact of being in high station, is regarded as sufficient evidence of ex* 
alt^d merit in a former state of existence. The king is therefore 
considered almost, if not altogether, equal to a deity ; and is always 
addressed as such. His most common designaticms are Chao- 
cheveet, " the lord of lives,'' Khun-luang, " the owner of all," Phra- 
putty-chao-jahooa, 'Uhe sacred lord of heads," and numerous others 
of the same nature. His niore formal title, as translated in the 
treaty with the British, concluded by Captain Bumey, is the. fol- 
lowing : '^ The great lord who is. in possession of every ^ood and 
every dignity, the God Bood'b, who dwells over every head in the 
city of, the sacred and great kingdom of Sia-yoo^thya, incompre- 
hensible to the head and brain." The Siamese, when they pos* 
9e»s titles, cease to be designated by any personal names ; hence 
the king irnever spoken of except by the abovementicmed or other 
eiooilar titles. 

Next in rank and station to the king, is the wang-na, commonly 
called, by Europeans, the second king. This high officer is al- 
ways one of the most exalted of the princes, and is chosen by the 
king at the time of his accession to the throne. When he sur- 
vives the king he commonly succeeds him on the throne; but 
when the wang-na dies first, it is seldom that anotheic is ap- 
pointed Xo fill his place, during the reign, of the sigone king. Hence 
there was no one who held the office at the time of our arrival, 
the one chosen on the accession of the present king having died 
about ten months before. 

* The-piW0itt kiag ift rery dMOOu of «Dcoangmg fortign eommMte to enter hb 
potts, and the peiplezitiee and endlees chaniges which fonneriy aimoyed then, an now 
remoTed. As long as th^ present king liyes, this wiie policj will be pnrsoed. The 
amount of imports is npidly rising in importanee. A historiographer is regularly em- 
ployed al the conit of Siam, and the leoorded OTento are deposited m the pnblio SN 

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302 B1IBA.8ST TO THE BA.ST. U>rfl. 

At the bead of the Siamese administration is the supreme coun- 
cil, consisting of the following officers : — 

First : A president, a prince of high rank. When the mission 
was in the country, this office wa^ held by the prince ESuroma- 

Second : Chao-phaya-bodin-<leeha or khroma-ha-thai, former- 
ly called Chao-phaya-chakri. He has the general superintend- 
ance of the northern provinces adjoining Pegue, and of the princi- 
palities of Laos and Camboja. 

Third : Chao-phaya-maha-sena, or khroma-ka-la-hom ; he is of 
equal rank with the lastmentioned, and holds the office of com- 
mander-in-chief of all the land and sea forces, with the general 
superintendance of the southwestem provinces, even to the last 
tributary Malay rajah. 

Fourth : Chao-phaya, praklang or khromatha, the minister of 
commerce and foreign affairs, who also has the superintendance of 
the southeastern provinces adjoining Cochin-China. This office 
and the lastmentioned, are at present held by one individual. 

Fifth: Chao-pfaaya-jomarat, or khroma-muang, minister of 
criminal justice. 

Sixth : Chao-phaya-phdllathep, or khrom-na, minister of agri- 
culture and produce. 

Seventh: Chao-phaya-therama-terat, or chroma-wang, govern- 
or of the royal palace. 

The mission, during its stay in the country, bad intercotcrse 
only with the praklang, and the subordinate officers of his depart- 
ment. These were : — 

Firdt : Chao-phaya praklang : Chao-pbaya is the first in order 
of the honorary tides. Praklang is said to signify, '' lord of the 
store-houses," and is the title of the office. This signification cor- 
responds with the title given to him by the Chinese, viz. : *^ Great 
minister of the treasuries or store-houses.*' 

Second : Phaya-si-piphat. This office is held by one of the 
brothers of the praklang. Phaya is the second honorary title. 

Third : Phaya-piphat-kossa, called by the Portuguese, the second 

The other officers in this department, consisting of four phayas, 
two pras, (or officers of the third rank) eleven luangs, (of the 
fourth rank,) &c, were never met with by the mission, except 

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when in the presencCi and acting under the orders, of their su- 

Connected with this department is that of the Faxang-khr<Hna- 
tha," Frank (or European) commercial board," under the direction 
of the Luang-sura-sakhon, chief of the Linguists, or captain of the 
port. This office is at present held by Sur-Jose-da-Piedade. 

The conamander of the artillery, Phaya-viset, Song-khiam, is 
also often brought in connexion with foreign missions. This of- 
fice is held by Sur-Beneditto-de-Arvellegeria, a Cambojan Portu- 
guese, who, with his brother, Sur-Sascoal, has been for many 
years in the employ of the king of Siam\ The governors of all 
provinces, whether great or small, are of the second rank, or pha- 
yas, with one exception, that of the governor of Ligore, called 
Chao-phaya-lahhon. Their subordinate officers are. not known. 

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AKOtmT ULwa or ham-^jmal OATw-ro^nsBMEMt nm onvuDivoBoiB-roputA* 


The Siamese have written iawsy whigh are dated as far back as 
561 of Christ ; and others are referred to in their courts, to the years 
of 1053-1614 and 1773. 

The higher officers of state are the justices and magistrates, but 
the final decision rests with the principal local authority within 
whose district the delinquent resides. Where the gorermnent is a 
perfect despotism, and the channels of justice are polluted by cor* 
rupt propounders of the law, equity and justice axe but empty names, 
and good laws a mere mockery. Oaths are administered to wit* 
nesses o^ly on formal and solenm occasions : the following being 
the form used in their courts as translated by Capt. JLowe : — 

^' I, who have been brought here as an evidence in this matter, do 
now, in the presence of the divine Prah-Phutt hi-rop (Budha,) de- 
clare that I am wholly unprejudiced agajnst either party, and unin* 
ilucnced in any way by the opinions or advice of others, and that no 
prospects of pecuniary advantage, or of advancement to office, have 
been held out to me ; I also declare that I have not received any 
bribe on this occasion.^ If what I have now spoken be £ftlse, or if 
in my further averments I should colour or pervert the truth, so as 
to lead the judgment of others astray, may the three Holy Existen* 
ces, viz. : Budha, the Bali (personified,) and die three priests, be- 
fore whom I now stand, together with the glorious Dewatas (demi- 
gods) of the twenty-two firmaments, punish me. 

*^ If I have not seen, yet shall I say I have seen ; if I shall say 
that I know that which I do not know, then may I be thus punish- 
ed. Should innumerable descents of the Deity happen for the 



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regeneration and salvation of mankind, may my erring and mi^gra- 
ting soul be found beyond the pale of their meicy — ^wherever I go, 
may I be encompassed with dangers, and not escape from them, 
whether arising from murderers, robbers, spirits of the earth, of the 
woods, of water, or of air, or from all the divinities who adore Budha, 
or from the gods of the four elements, and all other spirits. 

** May blood flow out of every pore of my body, that my crime 
may be made manifest to the world ; may all or any of these evils 
overtake me within three days, or may I never stir from the 
spot on which I now stand, or may the Aatiant, or lash of the sky, 
(lightning,) cut me in two, so that I may be exposed to the derision 
of this people ; or if I should be walking abroad, may I be torn 
to pieces by either of the four supematurally endowed lions, or de* 
stroyed by poisonous herbs or venomous snakes. If when in the 
waters of the rivers or ocean, may supernatural crocodiles or great 
fishes devour me, or may the wind8 and waves overwhelm me ; or 
may the dread of such evils keep me, during life, a prisoner at 
home, estranged from every pleasure, or may I be afflicted with 
the intolerable oppressions of my superiors, or may a plague cause 
my death ; after which may I be precipitated into h^Il, there to go 
through innumerable stages of torture, among which may I* be 
condemned to carry water over the flaming regions in open wicker 
baskets, to assuage the heat felt by Than-Wetsuan, when he enters 
the infernal hall of justice, and thereafter may I fall into the low* 
est pit of hell ; or if these miseries should not ensue, may I after 
death migrate into the body of a slave, and suffer all the haxdships 
find pains attending the worst state of such a being, during a period 
of years, measured by the sand of four seas ; or may I animate the 
body of an animal, or beast, during five hundred generations ; or be 
bom an hermaphrodite five hundred times, or endure in the body of 
a deaf, blind, dumb, houseless beggar, every species of loathsome 
disease during the same number of generations, tod theh^may I be 
hurried to varah, or hell, and there be crucified by Phria-yam, one 
of the kings of hell* 

The Siamese are extremely capricious, in the standard value of 
witnesses ; the oath of priests and men in ofiice, bearing a prefer- 
ence over all others, while there are not leas than twenty-eight in 
number, who are excluded, and declared to be incompetent ; they 
ere as follows : contemners of religion, persons in debt, the slaves 

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liMi] PITNlsaiCBNTS. 807 

of a party to a suit, intimate friends, idiots, those who do not hdd 
in abhoirence the cardinal sins, among which aie enumerated, be- 
sides theft and murder, drinking spirits, breaking prescribed fasts» 
and reposing on the mat or couch of a priest or parent, gamblers, 
vagrants, executioners, quack-doctors, play-actors, hermaphrodites, 
strolling musicians, prostitutes, blacksmiths, persons labouring under 
incurable disorders, persons under seven or above- seventy, bache« 
lors, insane persons, persons of violent passions, shqemakers, beg* 
gars, l>raziers, midwives, and sorcerers. 

Tortures are resorted to in cases of treason or alrocioos robbery, 
and even, among debtors where property is supposed to be con-^ 
cealed, as well as the ordeal by water and immersmg the hands in 
boiling oil or melted tin. He who remains the longest under water, 
and the 4iand which comes forth unscathed, are prcMiounced to be 
innocent. A debtor may be punished by stripes and imprisonmenti 
or dried, as it is termed by the Siamese, that is exsiccated by being 
exposed to the direct rays of a burning sun, suffering in addition 
the torments from myriads of noxious insects, and finally to be sold 
as a slaire if he is unable to discharge his debt. 

A great number of debtors are seen in irons about the baxars, 
whose only mode of subsistence is by begging; and they seklom 
ask in vain of a people who are pre-eminently charitable. 

Theft is punished with the bamboo and .with imprisoament, and 
even hard labour for life, in aggravated cases. Murder, counter- 
feiting coin, and forging the royal signet, with imprisonment for- 
life, and the severest punishment of the bamboo ; and in cases of 
cruel and deliberate murder, with deatli, by decapitation. A breach 
of the marriage-vow is not deemed a higMy criminal act) and it is 
easily conunuted by paying a fine, according to the rank cht stand- 
ing of the parties, from the sum of tWo hundred and seventy to 
ninety d<dlars. Marriage is a civil contract, and the Talapoins 
are not considered, in any way, necessary to legalize the contract; 
but tlieir prayers and benedictions are occasionally bestowed. In* 
suits are punished, from an inferior to a superior, according to the 
aggravation of the offence, by a fine, and even by corporal punish* 
ment, when a priest is the aggrieved party. 

If a priest commits a criminal act, he is divested of the sacerdotal 
habit, and is punished generally with more severity than a layman. 
Divorces are easily obtainecd and each party receives back what* 

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808 KICBA68T TO THB SA«T. Upfl, 

ever was contributed to the common stock. The minor male chil- 
dren go to the mother, and the female to the fiitfier. Property can 
mly be giyen to the wife and children, and daughters receiye from 
a half to a whole share more than the sons. Wills must be made 
in the presence of four witnesses , 

Siam appears to be a place of refuge fcHr the surrounding na* 
ttons, and is composed of a great Tarie^ of people, yiz, : Siamese, 
Laos, Cambqans, Malays, Kariangs^ Lawas, Kas, Choags and 
Semangs, Chinese, Mohammedans, and Hindoos of western India, 
Peguans, and Portuguese. The peculation f^ the whole empire, 
including their late conquests in the Malay peninsula, does not 
probably exceed three millions and six hundred thousand, (although 
many Siamese rate it, in round numbers, at five millions.) Of 
this number, I am led to belieye, from frequent conyersationa held 
with men in office, that the Siamese do not exceed-one million and 
six hundred thousand. The natiye poptdatipn of Lao, about one 
million and two hundred thousand. The Chinese at npt less than 
half a million, there being nearly three hundred and forty tho^and 
in the capital and the.yillages iriiich compose Bang-kok. The 
Makys, probably, aaKNmt to three hundred and twenty thousand ; 
and the remainder are natiyes of western India. Peguans, Cambo- 
jans and Portuguese, the latter from pretty covrect authority, do 
not exceed fourteen hundred in the whole Siamese dominions. 
The Kartangs, the Lawas, the Kas, and the Chongs,; vod 
migratory races; the three first inhabit the mountains and iiast* 
nesses of Lao, from the Burman dominions to Camboja. The 
Chongs inhabit the hilly country, bordering on the eastern side of 
die Siamese gulf. The Semangs are a race of 4Miyage negroes, 
dwelling in die mountainous regions of the Malay peninsula, of 
which a yery curious and particulii(r statement was published by 
J. Anderson, Esq., included in his account of the " Aboriginal In* 
habitants of the Malay Peninsula," which I haye subjoined at 
the end of my Journal on Siam.* 

By actual a4nieasurement of a great number of Siamese, it is 

^ ascertained that the ayerage height does not exceed fiye feet and 

four inches. Their skin is darker then the Chinese, yet they are 

seyeral shades lighter than the Malays ; their complexion is rather 

a dark shade of jrellow or a yeDewish browm All classes delij^t in 

• See AppMxUx A. 

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heightening it, by using tonneric. A lig^t yellow is considered to 
be the ^ ne plus ultra'' of all colours «nd all shades. Thie taste is 
derived, probably, from the numerous Chinese who reside thore. 
Owing to their frequent bathing, and daily iniiig a clean waiat- 
cloth, their skin is remarkably smooth, soft, and shining. - They 
are inchned to obesity, have large lower limbs and stout long 
arms ; yet they are by no means a strong or robust people. The 
face is broad md flat-— the icheek-bones rounds but prominent— the 
not^e rather amall^ round at the point, and rather hollow at the 
bridge — they have large mouths and rather thick Ups — the lower 
jaw is loAg and full at the extremities^ and the countenance ap- 
parently square — ^the eyes are snaaUr and black, the white tinged 
with a yellow cast — ^the forehead, although broad in a lateral di« 
xection, is generally low— the beard is veiy scanty. The diameter 
of the head is remarkably short from die front, backward; the top 
18 unusually flat, and from the crown to the nape of the neck, {in a 
large proportion of diem,) is nearly in a straight line. The hair ia 
always black, thick, coa^e, and lank. 

The Siamese week consists of seven days ; the months, alter- 
nately, of twenty^nine and thirty dajra ; and twelve mondis, or three 
hundred and fi%-four days, make a year. The year being solar, 
an intercalary month of diirty days is added every third. year after 
the eif^th month. The month is divided into a dark and a bright 
half, as the moon is upon the increase or the wane. The Siamese 
new year corresponds with that of the Chinese, which commences 
o/fer the last half of the mondi of January, or the sun's entrance 
into Aquarius. It is very certain, that in forming theit calendai^ 
they depend upon diat constructed at Peking. There is also a 
greater division of time, consisting of twelve years, each year 
taking the name of some animal, thus :-— 

First year Chuat • 

Second '' Chabu • 

Third " Khin . 

Fourth " Thd •. 

Fifth «" Marong 

Sixth '' Maseng 

Seventh ^' Ma-mia 

. Rat 

• Ox or cow. 
. Tiger. 

. Hare. 

• Dragon, or great snake* 

• Snake, or lesser serpent. 

• xiorse. 

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M»4nee . . . 

. 6<ML 

Nintk " 

Wock.oryock . 

. Monkey, or'^ie. 

T«Btk « 

Ray-la. «r Bak» . 

. •Cock.wfDvL 


Cbo, or Che-Qio 

■ Dog. 

TwcUtb " 

Khan, or Kim 

. Pii^arbqg. 

The Siamese hare two epodis, sacred and popular. ThcMocnd 
era datea from tbe death of Gautama, aad the year 1833 cone- 
sponded to the 2376 year. Tbe itdgar era was insthnted when the 
worship al Gautama was first iDtroduced ; and the year 1838 cor- 
responded whh the year 1194, and was the fifth, or dragon year. 

SSam proper extends from about the latitude of 23^ nooh, to the 
gulf of that name, and is bounded, west by the Burman empire, 
and east by the Lao (Lau) mountains. This is the Talley c€ the 
Menam, the ^ Mother of watess,'' the country of the true Siamese. 
Tbe Menam, after watering the low, flat land, by its annual de- 
posited, empties itself, by three channds, into the gulf of Siam. 
The boundaries of the Siamese dominions on the bay of Bengal, 
extend from the Burman, (or more coirectly qpeaking, in the pves* 
ent day,) the English Burmese dominiMis, as &r south as ike 
boundary line between the petty states of Perak and Quedah, in 
the straits of Malacca, in about the latitude of 5^ north, in which 
is included the yaluable island of Junk, Ceylon or Salunj^ contain- 
ing a Tast body of tin ore. It then extends nearly east, across the 
Malay peninsula, in about the same latitude, between the fvoyinces 
of Tungano and Pakhang, the shores of which are bathed by the 
.China sea : it then extends north to the head of the gulf of Siam. 
The Siamese goyemment, during the year 1832, brought under 
their immediate subjection, nearly the whole of the tributary states 
in the Malay peninsula. They possess, also, a large part of the 
late kingdom of Lao, including the former capital of the empire, 
called Lau-chang, situated, on the great mei Cambc^a, in about 
the sixteenth degree of nordi latitude, and which is represented to 
be Tery populous. They hold also (with the exception of a small 
portion of the southern part) the proTiace of Batabang, in Caili- 
boja.. Their eastern boundary line. is in about the longitude of 
105^, and extends north to the latitude of 159, being the diriding 
Ime between Lao and Camboja, and extending south to the Siunese 

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golf^ the boundary being the island of Kong, (alias Ko Kong») . 
situate in north latitude 10^ 43'', and longitude 103^ IT east. Ex- 
tending north, on the east coast f)f the gulf, lies Chautabun,^once a 
part of the ancient kingdom of Camboja. It is well known as a 
rich and valuable possession of Siam. 

The Siamese possess no ships of war, but they have an immense 
number (probably not less than five hundred) of war-canoes ; some 
of them being oyer a hundred feet in length, and made of a single 
teak-tree : they have also, probably, fifty or . sixty tessels, having 
two or three masts, using, fore and aft sails, and carrying froiA 
three to eight brass guns : the largest do not exceed a hundred 
Urns' burden : these are neatly and strongly built, and many of 
them are even elegant models. The whole number of mariners 
employed in foreign and coasting voyages, may be fairly estimated 
as amounting to not less than thirteen thousand. 

Siam is a very fertile country, and abounds in productions suited 
for foreign trade, beyopd any other with which I am acquainted to 
the eastwaid of the cape of Good Hope. It is no less distinguished 
for the variety and abundance of its mineral, than it is acknow- 
ledged to be for its vegetable productions. I have annexed a 
statement, showing the exports of 1832, the quantities of each 
article, the {^ces, &c., dec. 

To the Siamese trade may be added that of ship buildings 
which is carried on very extensively. A great number of 
Chinese junks are built here annually ; the timbers are of a very 
hard wood called marbao, and the plank is of the finest teak in 
the world. Many of these vessels are of a thousand tons^ burden. 

The imports consist of British piece goods, white and printed, 
with some woollens. India goods, of all descrq)tions, the coarser 
firom Bengal, and the finer and more expensive, from Surak. From 
China are brought silks and teas, porcelain, quicksilver, and almost 
every other article exported from that country. From other sources 
powder, arms, tsid cannon; glass ware, and crockery; cutlery; 
sona^ drugs ; arrack ; wine, &c.. Sec. Opium is strictly prohibited ; 
bat the Chinese and others introduce, clandestinely, large quanti- 
ties for sale. There is an immense trade carried oh at the capital, 
called Si-a-Yuthia, (pronounced See-ah-you-t^-ah,) and pn the 
opposite, or right bank of the river, at Bang-kok. 

Cotton twist is daily increasing in demand, more particularly 

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812 IMBASSTTO THB 1A9T. Ufcfl, 

low numbers, from twenty to thirty. Twist, of a briglit red, (not 
narrow,) from number forty to fifty, dways sells well ; yeDow and 
green we died in the country, as well as ordinary red. Not more 
than twenty peculs should be sent by one yessel. 

Siamese dresses should be of small star patterns, on red, blue, 
and green grounds, with a few chocolate grounds : the red grounds 
must be bright ; they should be in the propcnrtion of four to one of 
Ae others. Each case, riiould contain twenty corges, containing 
four hundred dresses. 

PrintSy generally called seven eighths, find a ready market 
They must be all of the star pattern, bright ground and narrow. 
The prop<Mtion is, two pieces of red to one of black or blue, in a 
case of a hundred pieces. Some on cloth, of thirty-foui: to thirty- 
six inches, would also sell. 

Chintz. Large pattern furniture chintz is saleable. It is used 
for curtains and screens. Patterns running lengthwise, are pre- 

Elh. Long ells find a ready sale. The consumption of red 
is very great. There should be one hundred pieces of red to 
twenty of green. 

WooUens, Thin ladies* cloths <Hily are in demand; heavy, 
thick broadcloths will not sell. From S^tember to December, 
there is a demand for them. Red and green are the favourite 
colours. In a bale of twelve, pieces, each seventeen and a half to 
eighteen yards in length, there should be five of red, four of green, 
one of yellow, one of light blue, one of light purple. 

Steelf in tubs of a small size, sells readily in small paieela * 

The inland trade is a very important branch, especially with 
Lau, and the Chinese province of Yiman, &c. This domestic 
traffic is carried on, on the Menam, in flat-boats, and on bamboo- 
rafts. Boats leave Lau in August and September, when the river 
is swollen by the periodical rains, and arrive at Bang-kok in No- 
vember ahd December. They bring stic-lac, benzoin, raw silk, 
ivory, beeswax, horns, hides, timber, &c^ &:c The articles of 
merchandise exported into China, through I^u, consist of coarse 
woollens, broadcloths, cutlery, gold, copper, lead, &c., &c. The 
Chinese are the principal foreign traders. The Siamese prosecute 
a large foreign and coasting trade to China, Cambqia, Cochin- 
• Sunples of good* should be in roftdiaeu, whieh will my* great trooble. 

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China, the Malay peninsula, to Singapore, to the easteni coast of 
Suma&a, to the bay of Bengal, &c., &c. The traffic between the 
countries lying on the shores, of the straits of Malacca and tKe 
bay of Bengal, is^ generally conducted by three different I'outes, 
across the Malay peninsula ; and then reshipped, in boats, on the 
gulf of Siam, to the capital : the imports being British and Indian 
goods, opiuoa, esculent swallows' nests, dec, &c. 

The population of the capital and Bang-kok, with their suburbti 
may fairly be rated at four hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. 
I deem it best to state this fact, so that it may bt seen that, in a 
commercial point of view, it is a place of great importance. 

The Siamese coin no money strictly speaking ; they use bent 
bars of siWer, made nearly round and stamped with a star. Those 
of the largest size are called baats, and by Europeans ticals. They 
8X9 of the value of sixty^one cents and a small fraction. The halves 
are denominated two salings, the quarters one saling ; there are 
also eighths, called one tuang. They have a gold currency formed 
in the same manner and of various values ; they have no copper 
or tni coin : occasionally, some of the latter may be seen brought 
from Calantin, dec. : cowries or bias are used in their steacd* 

The currency is as follows : one thousand and fifty cowries or 
bias make one tuang ; two tuangs, one saling ; four salings, one 
baat or ttcal. 

Imaginary or money of account : four baats, one tamling ; twenty 
tamlings, one catty or eighty baats ; fifty catties^ one pecul or one 
thousand baats.* 

The weights are the same as in China, being the pecul and catty ; 
one hundred catties making one pecul ; one catty^ one and a third 
pounds avoirdupois. The fathom is the measure in most frequent 
twe, being six feet, six inches ; also, twelve finger-breadths make one 
span ; two spans, one cubit ; four cubits, one fathom ; twenty 
fathoms, one sen ; one hundred sens, one yuta or yut. 

On the twentieth day of March, 1833, corresponding to Wed- 
nesday, the last of the fourth month of the year 1 194, cailedP^fna- 
ron^-^chat^tavosokf (or the year of the dragon,) the final articles of 
die first commercial treaty between Siam and the United States 

* The baat or tical hm been aaaayed in Calcutta and Tallied at two ahiiltngi and aiz- 
penee sterliag. I have given it the manti valae as the European tfadert— viz., aizty-om 

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814 SMBA88T TO THB BAST. VkptiU 

were concluded after a negotiation of twenty-two days, and on the 
first day of April they were signed and sealed ; but only a single 
copy of the treaty could be obtained, notwithstanding the promise 
of the chao-pfaaya praklang, one of the first ministers of state, that 
two copies should be furnished me. No other reason was assigned 
for this breach of promise, than that it was not customary. 

It is written in four languages, viz. : Siamese, Chinese, Portu- 
guese, and English, and is of the great length of nine feet and seven 
inches. Previously to the signing of the tifeaty, the charges were 
not defined and fixed ; now, all obstacles and impositions are re- 
moved, and but a single charge is made of seventeen hundred ticals 
on every Siamese fathom of seventy-eight inches on the breadth of 
the vessel, if merchandise is imported, and fifteen hundred if specie 
only is brought. This charge is in, full of all import and export 
duties either on vessel or cargo. The sixth article of the treaty 
relates to debtors. As foreigners were equally hable to the penal- 
ties with the natives, I deemed it most proper to guard against Uie 
barbarity, which gave the creditor in fact the power of life and 
death over his debtor, and therefore in tlie early stage of the nego- 
tiation, I proposed an article (which was agreed to) which released 
the American citizen only, from all pains and penalties, by deliver- 
ing to his creditors all the property he possessed* About a fort- 
night after its conclusion, the minister inserted an additional clause, 
making it reciprocal, so that the Siamese debtor might receive the 
same benefit of the American creditor. He was told it would have 
an unequal operation, as it would very rarely occur that an Ameri- 
can would incur a debt to a Siamese ; but he insisted that it should 
remain as it was, although I proposed nullifying the whole article. 
But still if any American feels disposed to take advantage of a code 
of laws written in blood, it will readily suggest to him that a trans- 
fer of his debt to a rissponsible Siamese, will give him a firee and 
unimpeded course to hunt down a prostrate victim. 

An attempt was made to reduce the measurement-duty on ves- 
sels bringing specie on2y,to eight himdred ticals (instead of fifteen 
hundred) but it did not prove si^cessful, and a similar failure was 
the result of another proposition to admit vessels wishing to pur- 
chase a part of a cargo only,by paying a proportionate part of the 

The treaty has removed all obstacles to a lucrative and impor- 

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tant branch of oar commerce ; the merchant being left firee'to sell 
or purchase where and of whom he pleases. Prior to this period, 
the American merchant was not allowed to sell to a private indi- 
TidudJ the cargo he imported, nor purchase a return cargo. The 
king claimed the elclusive right of purchase and sale in both cases ; 
and furthermore, such parts of the imported cargoes as were most 
saleable, were selected and taken at his own valuation, which was 
always at prices far below the market value, as profit was the sole 
object in* making the purchases. 

Secondly : he also fixed the prices of the articles wanted for re* 
turn cargoes, and no individual dared offer any competition^either 
in buying or selling. 

Thirdly : the American merchant not only did not obtain a fair 
Talue for his merchandise, hut it is notorious that he had to pay 
from twenty to thirty per cent, more for the produce of the country 
tiian he could have purchased it foi; from private hands. 

Fourthly: the vexations occasioned by delay were a matter of 
serious complaint. It was no uncommon circumstance to be de*. 
htyed from two to four months beyond the stipulated time. Tho 
loss sustained, say for three months' charter, and interest on the 
capital employed for that time, &c., &c., amounted to several 
thousand dollars. In addition to aff these evils the merchant was 
frequently obliged to take payment in inferior articles,at the high- 
est market value for the hest^ and even unsaleable merchandise at 
high prices. 

Fifthly : the duties on imports were not permanent ; they varied 
from eight to fifteen per centum. 

Sixthly : the export duty on sugar of the first quality ,^was. one 
dollar and a half (Spanish) per pecul, which was not less than from 
25 to 30 per centum upon the first cost, and other articles were 
charged in the same proportion. 

Seventhly: port-charges and other exactions wore not defined 
and fixed, but they generally amounted to not less than three and a 
half (Spanish) dollars per ton. 

Eighthly : Presents were expected, and in fact exacted, from the 
king to the lowest custom-house officer, according to the usages 
of Asiatics ; there were but a few vessels that did not pay up- 
waxd of a thousand dollars, if they had a valuable cargo. The 
difference, therefore, in exactions and impositions, prior and subse- 

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816 BXBA88T TO TffB SAST. Ufril. 

quent to the conclusion of the treaty, may be stated on a vessel of 
two hundred and fifty tons, having a twenty-five feet beam, as 
follows : The duties, formerly^ were from eight to fifteen per 
cent, on imports ; the average rate was not less than ten per cent. 
Now, <m a cargo of $40,000, it would give the sum of $4,000 

Add to this $1,50 per pecul on sugar exported^ 
which was equal, at the lowest calculation, to twenty- 
five per cent., on $40,000, which gives 10,000 

AlsOy $3,50 per ton for charges 975 

And presents, say 1,000 

' If there is ^dded the difference in the sale of the 
importjpd cargo to* the king or to individuals, the esti- 
mate cannot be less than twenty per cent., and prob- 
ably twice that amount would not cover the loss, 8,000 

Add to this an additional price paid to the king on 
the produce exported, say it was twenty per cent., is 8,000 

Three months' charter, arising from detention, at 
$900 per month 2,700 

Three months' loss of interest is 600 


From this amount deduct the single charge of 
1,700 ticals per each Siamese fathom on the breadth 
of vessels bringing merchandise. If only specie were 
brought, 1,500 ticals. 

Sixty-eight thousand ticals at sixty-one cents, on 
aevenly-five feet beson, is 4,276 

' Making a difierence of not less than $31,000 

The result is, that the treaty has secured to us a valuable branch 
of commerce which was entirely destroyed, and which will con- 
tinue to increase vastly, as the Siamese recover fix>m the serious 
disasters which resulted from the inundation of the valley of the 
Menam',for upwaird of three months, during the year 1831. 

Exports from (herioer Motum (Siam) during Me year 1832, tJuwmg ike ^uaaUU^etii 
market value o/eaek article. 


Pepper, 88,000 peculs, 10 ticals per pecul. 

Bugv, 96,000 pecoli, 15,000 1 Bt eort, 8 do. do. 

00,000 Sd do. 

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90,000 3d sort, 6 a. 6 1-S ticali prr pd. 
1,000 PKto or bUck,3 l-S a. 3 l-S do. do. 

Sugar candf. 

6,600 pecnla, 

16 16 do. do. 

Tin, 1,600,000 Bw., 

1,S00 do. 

30 S3 


3,600 do. 



too do. 

60 a. 66 peeula. 

Caidamom, 73»150 Vtm^ 


100 a. 360 a. 380. 

do. Sddo. 

160 a. 280 88t. 

3d do. 

300300 SSt. 

iTOTf, 40,000 Iba., 


160 a. 180. 

Bar-iron, S,S60,000]ba.; 


8 Ut a. 4. 

Kwalaha or mm pttiB^ 00,000, 


4 ticala per pur ih, 

3d do. 

3 do. do. 

3d do. 

2 1-2 do. do. 

4th do. 

2 do. do. 


3 do. do. 


1 1-2 do. do. 

7th do. 

11.4do. do. 



lat soil, 400 ticala. 
2d and 3d, 360 and 300. 


ID a. 40,000 

26 clear, 8 in aeaii 

Swallowa' noat, (aaeaknl,) 

10 a. 13 

lat aort, 10,000. 
2d do 6,000. 
3d^ do. 4,000. 

Bkboa do Mar or Tripai^ 

Camphire, Malajan, 

Wax, yeUow, 

1,800, do. 

66 a. 60. 


960, 6 qoantitiea areraging from40 toMp. ^ 



60 per pecul. 


8,000 pecnU, 

3 1-3a.31-2perpecvL 



3 a. 4 do. do. 

Hog's laid, 

14orl6 • do. do. 


300,000, fromla.31-38aliiigaperpee. 


137,000 logs, 


200,000 peeola. 

3 salinga per pecoL 

Bans, Mai^giOTO, dtc«» 

300,000 bundles, 

6 ticala per 100 hnndlao. 

Leather, Deer, 


SO a. S6 per 100. 

Isoa-wood, (eboDj) 

1,600 peeola, 

2 1-2 peeola. 

Dried meaty 


6per do. 



60 a. 66. 

Rhiaoceroa akina, 

not aacertained. 

Bnfblo do. 


8a. 10. 

Ox do. 


7a. 8. 

EtefJMnt do. 

not ascertained. 

Tiger do. 


Leopard do. 


Bear do. 


Snako do. 


Civat^rat do. 


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not ascertained. 

66 to 70 pecnla, 
800 do. 

8,000 pecula, 

• do. 

Cfama BMiket, 






" •• Drag. 
Dragpna* bk>od, 
Sharks' fina, 
BuflUo and oz koma, 
Been* antlen, do. aoA^ 

do. hoiDSy do. 

Oz and Boi&lo boneo, 
Elephant do. . 

Rhiiloceros 4o. 

do. hoiM, 
Tiger, the entire bodies for 
Peacock's taQs, ' 
Raw ailk, (frooi Lao) 
Rough pitch, 
Wood oil, 

Takan, an inferior or bastard 

liarge feathers fer fena^ 
Fish skins, 
Jbgra or palm-sugar, 

Tbe foregoing is the qnantitj aeeertained by the goTemment fer 183S, to which may 
be added a considerable qnantity fer each article amoggled, and princ^wUy by tbs 
Chinese. The exports, therefore, for the year 1832, taking the foregoing atatemeiit !• 
be correct, amount to a aum not ieas than /our and a kal/mOUoHs o/dolUurM. 


a. 66perpeci]la. 

8 a. 4 per do. 

1 1-8 a. 8'ticala par pair. 

8 a. per pecoL 

1 do. 

7 do. 

68 a. 80. do. 

7 a^ 8 pespeaoi. 

8 to 8 do. do. 
8 to 6 do. do. . 
88to40do do. 

4^800 pairs of wii^[B,86 a. 100 do^do. 
lOO to 160 pairs, 80 ticals per pecnl. 
1,800 peculs, 80 doc ^ dou 

160,000 pots, 4io6potsl tical. 

980,000 bundles. 4 ticala per 100 

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Haying brought my miiision to a close in a very satisfactory 
manner, I was, on the evening of the. third of April, invited to wait 
upon the praklang. The principal object of die visit was to reit- 
erate his assurances, that every facility should be granted to Ameri- 
can commerce, both in selling their cargoes, and in collecting their 
debts. And, furthermore, to state, that the presents the king and 
himself desired, should be returned with the ratified treaty. 

The following list was then given oif the presents desired by the 
king and the praklang : — 

For the king : Five pairs of stone statues of men and women; 
some of the natural and some of the larger size, clothed in various 
costumes of the United States, Ten pair of vase lamps, of the 
largest size, plain glass. One pair of swords, with gold hilt and 
scabbards ; the latter of gold^ not gUt — shape of blade, a little 

For the praklang : One mirr(»r, (or pair of mirrors,) three cubits 
long by two broad, fixed in a stand, so as to form a screen ; finme, 
carved and gilt ; back, painted green. Soft, hairy carpeting, of , 
certain dimensions ; and some flower and firuit trees, planted, or in 
seed, with flower-pots. 

I then took leave, after many demonstrations of good^wQl. 

Some presents of the {productions of the country, were sent to 
me, of very mean quality, and of inconsiderable value. 

On the fourth, the same boats being in readiness, wbidi brought 
us to the city, in the evening we embarked, reached the ship in 
the morning, and the day following, made sail down the gulf. 

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Our passage to Singapore (a distance of less than a thousand 
miles) occupied us till the first of May ; the winds being very light 
and adverse, and constantly shifting between the south and southeast 
points. On the nineteenth, we made the group of islands, called 
the " Great Redangs." On the twenty-second, when Pulo Brala 
was in sight, we spoke a Portuguese brig from Singapore, having 
on board an assistant Roman Catholic bishop for Siam, and a new 
consul, to take the place of Mr. Silviera; two days subsequently, 
we fell in with two small Cochin-ChiBese junks, bom the province 
of Nhiatrang, for Singapore, who sent a boat alongside, ai^d asked 
most beseechingly for water, having been, as they said, destitute 
of any for the last six days, as they had brought only an earthen 
pot # or two, for the supply of two vessels; being apparently 
wretchedly poor, a full cask was j^ven them, after they bad 
drunk to satiety. W€ successively fell in with Pulo Timoan and 
Pulo Aor. The vicinity of these, islands is remariLable, as well as 
<he southeastem point of the Malay peninsula, for piratical vessels, 
which ate cmstantly cruising about in search of small trading ves- 
sels. On the thirtieth, we were svrept by the violence of the cur- 
rent on Ae Romania bank, where we anchored m nine and three 
quarters fathoms of water ; the following day we anchored about 
two miles from Singapore, near to our eld friend, Captain Lam* 
bert, of his Britannic majesty's frigate. Alligator. 

We called upon governor Ibbetson, who presides over this island, 
Malacca, and Pulo Penang, and were received by him and the 
Honourable Mr. Bonham with much hospitality and kindness; 
aad subsequently, by the Honourable Sir Benjamin H. Malhin, 
the recorder, and lady. The situation of the governor's house is 
vpon a hill, which overlooks the tovm and the numerous islands in 
the straits. It is a most detightfiil situation ; the approach to it, 
from the base of the hill, is lined on the right side, by nutmeg and 
other spice trees, &c., being the -garden belonging to the govern- 
ment; but ovring to some cause, they do not succeed well — ^the 
fruit.doeB not arrive at maturity. The country in the immediate 
neigfabouriiood of the toim, excepting in the direction of the new 
harbour, and a few other spots, is still in a state of nature, the soil 
givmg an ungrateful return for the labour of the husbandman. 
Fruit sueceeda well, even the delicate mangusteen ; but wheat, 
coffee, and pepper have repeatedly failed» or the crops have 

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"»« SIKOAPOftX. 321 

been 80 mcoiuiiderabley as to be unworthy of attention. Gambir^ 
aliaa catecko or terra japonica, succeeds well ; it is used as a di9» 
or chewed with areca. Esculent plants and farinaceous roots, laU 
ural to a tropical clinutte, are here in perfection. This island is 
about twenty-seven miles long, and from five to fifteen jniles in 
breadth. It is separated from the Malay peninsula by the old 
strait of it^ own name, being from one fourth to a mile and half 
in width. 

About three leagues south of the settlement is an extensiTd 
chain bf islands, very thinly inhabited by a race of sayages. Tlua 
open space of water is a continuation of the straits <tf Malacca, and 
is called the strait of Singapore ; it is the high road of commerco^ 
between the eastern and western parts of Asia. The tOMfn of 
Singapore was founded by the British in 1819, and was then onLf 
the resort of fishermen and pirates; and was carefully avdded by 
the regular traders. The year following its t)CCupation, it wa)i 
Tisited by nearly seventy thousand tons of shipping, and of this 
amount, about one fifth were native vessels, belonging principally to 
the various islands in the Indian Archipelago. The establishment 
of this as a .free port, most seriously affects the commerce of Ba«^ 
tavia ; it has drawn from it a most valuable native trade. 

The town is formed upon a regular {dan, the streets intersecting 
each other at right fuigles ; the streets and roads are in excellent 
orderj the former having sidewalks. There is a great number of 
well-built houses of brick, which are stuccoed, and have tile rooft^ 
Many of the houses have galleries or porticoes, and the grouncis are 
prettily laid out with trees and shrubbery^ On the less valuable 
streets, the houses and shops are built of wood, and covered with 
tile. On the outskirts, the houses are thatched, and more particu- 
larly those inhabited by the Bugis and Balinese, and the poorest 
class of Chinese. A good wooden bridge connects the peoinsula 
or western part with the eastern. On this creek, or arm of the 
sea, into which empties a rivulet, are situated the principal ware-* 
houses ; and here smaU vessels discharge their cargoes into very 
convenient and well arranged buildings. The quays are built of 
stone, with very convenient slips, and good cranes for landing 
goods.. The island being situate within a degree and a half of 
the equator, no material change takes place — a perpetual summer 
reigns — ^flowers never cease blowing, and fruits are ever in bloft* 


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I cr prognssng towasds matnAtj. It is an dd sayii^ tbal man 
a day passes at Sing^mie without lain ; bat it has been well ascer- 
lained that the lainy and Cur dap are about equal in nombei 
ihrou^out the year; althooi^ in some years it has rained about 
two hundred and fiorty days, or two thirds of the year. NoTember 
and December are the cocdest and most rainy months ; the ther- 
mometer then falls occasionally as low as 72^, aund in the hot and dry 
m(»ths of April and May» it attains to 90^. The cliinate ia re- 
markably aal«dirious» and feyers and dysentery, which are so £ual 
within the tropiGs, are here of rare occurrence, owing, it is sup- 
posed, to the free cunent of air which passes through the straits; 
but whererer its beneficial influence is excluded, those diseases 
are vezy fatal ; and this is the case about that beautiful and ro- 
mantic spot, the new haibour, situ^e but a few miles to the west- 
ward of the town. The island is also free of those dreadful 
scourges, stoiins and huiricanes, and^riolent gusts of wind. 

I visited (in ccimpany with Captain Lambert, and the com- 
mander of the Peacock) the person who is styled the sultan of 
Johore,Sirho ceded this and other islands to the British, for the 
aum of sixty thousand dollars, and an annuity of twenty-four thou- 
sand per year. He was formerly chief judge to Suhan Mahcnnet, 
of Johcnre. At his decease, he seized upon this part of his posses- 
sions.^ The sultan's residence is surrounded by a high brick waU» 
haTing strong gates, guarded by soldiers. Within it is a new 
mosque ; a hall of audience, neatly built ; with many other housea 
of brici and thatch. We were conducted into the hall, which is 
osed as a banquetmg place also; and shortly after» we heard tho 
loud breathing of a person who seemed m deep distress, en- 
deaTOuring to ascend the staircase ; finally the sultan made hia 
appearance, and with great difficulty reached the centre of the 
room. I Terily thought he would have died within the first ten 
minutes, of suffocation. He was most grossly, or rather beastly 
fat, and reminded us of the Anthropophagi, or men whose heads do 
grow beneath their shoulders ; for neck, he had none. His eyea 
were wormously large, and they hadxhe terrific appearance of having 
atarted from their sockets. He was truly a most disgusting and 
frightful object. After he was able to breathe a Uttle freely, the 
usual compliments passed, and inquiries made, a feast was brought 
in, consisting of a great variety of articles, which were neatly 

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seived up by numerous waiters. Two fine lads, his sons, accom* 
panied him ; they were handsomely dressed, wearing turbans, and 
armed with daggers. The sultan expressed himself gratified with 
the visit, and we then took leave. 

The population, on the first of January, 1833, was ascertained 
to amount to twenty thousand nine hundred and seventy*eigfat per- 
sons. Of these, fifteen thousand one hundred and eighty-one were 
males, and (mly five thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven 
females. This motley group are made up of—- <Mie hundred and 
nineteen Europeans; ninety Indo British; three hundred native 
Christians ; thirty-five Armenians ; two Jews ; ninety-six Arabs ; 
seven thousand one hundred and thirty-pne Malays ; eight thou 
sand five hundred and seventeen Chinese ; one thousand eight hun- 
dred and nineteen natives of Coromandel ; five hundred and five 
Hindoos ; six hundred and forty-five Javanese ; one thousand nine 
hundred and twenty-six Bugis, Balanese, dec. ; thirty-seven Caf- 
firees ; two Parsees. The country and plantations contain seven 
thousand three hundred and sixty^two ; the islands, which form a 
dependancy, of which there are about fifty, contain one tnousand 
and seventy-two ; total, eight thousand four hundred and thirty- 
four : which leave for the town of Singapore, twelve thbusand five 
hundred and forty-four, exclusive of the military and convicts, which 
amount to about one thousand. 

Singapore is merely a mart for the exchange of merchandise 
for the products of Europe, India, and China, the Indian Ar* 
chipelago, and of the neighbouring states*— the imports from one 
part forming the exports to another. The total value of imports^ 
for the years 1831 and 1832, was seventeen millions, eight hundred 
and nine thousand nine hundred and forty-eight sicca rupees ; and 
the exports, fifteen millions, fifty-one thousand five hundred and 
9eventy-three, Of this amount, nearly one eighth, or about nine 
hundred thousand dollars in value, was conducted by native vessels. 
The fixed exchange of sicca rupees, is two hundred and ten and a 
half for one hundred Spanish dollars. The currency is the Span« 
iah dollar divided into cents. The common weight is the pecul, of 
one hundred and thirty-three and a third pounds, avoirdupois, di- 
vided into one hundred catties. The English gross hundred is 
also used, as well as the neat hmidred. Salt, rice, and coarse, or 
unpearled sago, by the koyan, of about forty peculs. 

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In the harbour, there may be frequently seen Tessels firom En- 
l^and, France, Holland, and other parts of Europe ; from the Brap 
sils. Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, New South Wales ; from 
Arabia, and various parts of British and Portuguese India ; firom 
Siam, the Malay peninsula, Camboja, and Taiious ports in Cocfain- 
China, from the gulf of Siam to the gulf of Tonquin, (Tung-king ;) 
from Macao, and yarious parts of the provinces of Canton and 
Tokien, the former being called the '^Red-headed Junks,** andtlie 
latter the *^ Green-headed,'' owing to their being distinguished in 
this manner by being painted with these colours ; from Manila » 
Dutch and native craft from Java, Banca, and Bulembang ; and by 
Malay craft only, from the river Campar, and other eastern ports 
in Sumatra; But the most important branch of tfae trade with the 
Indian islanders, is that conducted by. the Bugis of Wajo, a state 
of the Celebes. 

The Bugis write and speak a different language from either of 
the other tribes of the Celebes, either of Macassar, Mandar, or 
Kaili. They have a code of civil and criminal law, referring to a 
state of government and sbciety, of a patriarchal character ; and 
ihey have also a code of maritime laws, dated in the year 1087, of 
the Hejera^ (Hegira,) from which I have made some extracts. 
Wajo is situated nearly in the centre of the Celebes, and the Bugis 
live on the northern banks of an extensive lake, about twenty-four 
miles in breadth. The outlet of the lake is a river, which falls into 
the bay of Boni, and is navigable for boats of twenty tons. This 
people are the sole native carriers of the Archipelago, possessing 
an industry and enterprise far beyond the generality of the Malayan 
tribes. They carry on an extensive trade with all the ports in the 
Celebes; toBonivati; to the eastern and western coasts of Borneo; 
to the islands of Lombok, Bali, Sumbawa, Flores, Sandal Wood» 
Coram, Timor, the Arrows, New Guinea, fee. These bring gold- 
dust, bird's-nests, tortoise-shell, camphor, paddy; bichos do mar^ 
rattans, pepper, shark's-fins, ish-maws, agar-agar, (sea-weed,) 
garro-wood, mats, pamore, iron, striped and Tartan cotton cloths, 
ofl, tallow, mother-of-pearl, shells, &c., &c. Their cargoes are 
valuable, and vaiy from ten to forty thousand dollars. They take, 
in return, opium, British and Indian piece-goods, fire-arms, powder, 
Siamese iron-pans, dec. ; Chinese coarse earthenware, &c., &c. 

Maritime laws were established (as'stated in a pamphtet pubHsbed 

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in the year 1832) by Matonrei Father Gapa, (a practitioner in law,) 
at Macassar, in the Hejera 1087, on Monday, the seventeenth day 
of Mohantin. The first five sections relate to the rate of fireigfal 
and passage-money, to and from various places, and explaining a 
mode of trade, existing to the present day, in the east. A persoa 
having goods, either natural produce or manufactured, puts his 
articles on board a prahu, going to any place where he can find a 
market: these goods pay a per centage freight, as laid down by 
the law, and the passage*money is included in that charge ; and 
during the voyage, he takes part in rowing or sailing the prahu, 
&c^ &c. 

The sixth treats on the freight of money. If the amount is ona 
hondred and ten real, or less, it pays no freight ; but if it exceeds 
that sum, it pays one half the charge on goods to the same place* 
The people of the prow (prahu) are not allowed to land if the mas* 
ter does not receive the full freight ; and further, they must assist 
in bailing tlie water out and fastening the boat : nor are they to be 
freed from their charge till she is laid up for the season. The 
seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth sections, treat on a mode of shares 
in trade and shipping, vi2. :--Seventh : if the owner of the prahu send a 
man in charge of her, or if he let her to any one in the season, and 
furnish the turobatu and turomudi, together with crew, and arms 
and stores sufficient, and the boat should be damaged or lost, 
through the neglect of the crew, dec, in that case they must make 
good the damages, or loss of the boat: the shares of the turobatu 
and turomudi, and the expenses of the prahu, being first paid. 
£igh{h : if the person who sails the prahu, also furnish the t^ro* ' 
mudi, turobatu, the crew and arms, then the owner and the captain 
go equal shares, after the turomudi, turobatu, and the expenses of 
the outfit, 8ffe adjusted. 

Ninth : if the owner of the prahu gives her in charge to a cap-^ 
tain and the latter provide turomudi, turobatu and the crew, then 
the profit is divided into three equal shares ; two are taken by the 
owner of the prahu, and one by the captain Or person who char* 
ters her for the trip ; but previous to the division of the profits, the 
shares of turomudi, turobatu and expenses of the prahu are always • 

Tenth : if the owner of the prahu furnish the turomudi, and the 
captain provide the turobatu^ and both go equal shares in the ex* 

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penses of the crew, arms, and outfit, icc^ in that case the profils 
are divided into two equal shares, between the owner and the ca^ 
tain, after the turomudi, turobatu, and expenses of the prahu are 
paid. If the persons who sail the prahu fiufnish the turomudi^ 
turobatu and crew, arms, dec., then the profits are divided into three 
shares : two shares go to the person who navigates her, and one 
to the owner. The turomudi, turobatu and expenses of the prahu 
being first paid ; if there be a previous contract or agreement be- 
tween the owner and the navigator, in that case, the law takes no 
cognizance in the matter : if not, the law directs as stated above.* 

The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth sections regulating the 
amount of passage money, have, no doubt been framed principally, 
if not exclusively, in consideration of the practice of carrying slayes 
to distant parts for sale, since women are included, who otherwise 
never travel by water. The fourteenth and last section, lays down 
the principle of a court of native admiralty law, but the latter part 
is vague, as well as arbitrary ; it is as follows : the captain is king 
while at sea, and his will is absolute law, from which there is no 
appeal ; but if the turomudi, turobatu and the whole crew unite 
without one dissentient voice, they can overrule the will of the 
captain. The turomudi and turobatu hold the rank of prime min- 
isters while on board the prahu. If any matter of difference arise 
between the crew, the captain, and turomudi, and turobatu, ahall 
sit in council, and give judgment in the case ; and if they should 
pass the sentence of death it must be executed ; nor can any judg- 
ment given at sea be disannulled after the prahu is returned to port. 
If an affray or murder should take place among the crew, and the 
king's son be involved, or if a freeman should kill a king's son, in 
either case the captain is not held responsible on his arrival into 
port, by virtue of the power delegated to him by the king. 

We sailed from Singapore at midnight, on the eleventh of May, 
intending to pass through the straits of Rhio, and to. touch at 
the Dutch port of that name in the island of Bintang. This port 
is the resort of American vessels ; being excluded from Singapore,, 
they are obliged to carry on their trade by means of coasting craft» 

* The turomudi and tarobatu have the principal management in navigating the boat ; 
the former haa ebarge of the after part of the prahu and aeeing the water bailed oat» 
which ia done by a bucket and pulley ; the laUcr, that of the'ngging and fbxwaid part, 
under the direction of the turomudi 

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between the two ports, which causes an additional expense of about 
two and a half per centum. The wind being contrary from the 
southern quarter, and the strait very narrow, we were compelled to 
pass again through the straits of Singapore, between the Malay 
peninsula and Pedra Branca (white rock) into the Chma sea. The 
current being at times strongly against us, and the wind very light 
between S. W. and S. S. E., the ship was frequently brought to 
anchor in the China sea, which we found generally, very smooth. 
On the eighteenth, we saw Pulo Toty— on the day following, the 
^' Gooning'^ mountains on Banca. On the twenty-second, we an- 
chored near the woody island of Caspar, and sent a- boat on shore, 
but not an inhabitant was discoyered, it being only an occasional 
place of resort for pirates. On the twenty-fourth, we anchored in 
the straits of Gaspar, between the islands of Leat and Banca, and 
remained there till the tliirtieth> the wind being from the southward^ 
and contrary, and the current setting to the northward, from half 
a knot to three miles per hour ; it being rather feeble between eight 
and t^n, in the morning, and strongest towards midnight 

On the evening we anchored in the straits, we discovered twenty* 
one piratical proas off the north end of Pulo Leat, and fourteen ofi 
the southern point ; rockets were thrown up by vessels stationed 
midway between the squadrons, dming the night. The ship being 
in readiness for action, it is probable they discovered lights from 
the battle-lanterns on the gun-deck, during the night, for in the morn- 
ing only a few scattered vessels were to be seen. We were at, 
length released from this unpleasant strait, which has shipwrecked 
so many Uves, either by being drowned, or else murdered by the 
savages which infest them, by a fine leading breeze, passed safely 
into the Java sea, through the great group called the '* Thousand 
Islands," and anchored on the fifth of June in the unhealthy road- 
stead of Batavia, where at length we found the United States* 
schooner Boxer, Lieut. Comdt. Shields, at anchor awaiting our ar- 
rival. Having received a very hospitable invitation firom Mr. For- 
lestice, an American merchant, of the first respectability, to reside 
with him at " Fancy Farm," his beautiful country-seat, three miles 
from the city, I accepted his kind offer and remained there for 
nearly two months. According to history, the Portuguese first vis- 
ited Java in 151 1, an ambassador having been sent there firom Ma- 
lacca. The Dutch arrived in 1596, settling first at Bantam^ but 

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they afterward removed to Jacatia and in 1618 it was seized by 
them, and all the inhabitants put to the sword who did not seek 
safety in flight ; the walls of ^e ancient city were razed to the 
ground, the town burnt, and nothing remained but the name. On 
this spot was the present city of Batavia founded. The island, with 
the exception of five years, from 1811 to 1816, when it was in the 
possession of the British, has been held by no European nation, but 
the Dutch. The island of Java, called generally by the natives 
Jawa, is in a straight line to its extreme points six hundred and 
sixty-six statute miles : and in breadth, from fifty-sixto one hun- 
dred and thirteen. 

The origin of its name remains still in great uncertainty. The 
northern coast is low, and generally swampy and unhealthy. The 
southern coast, on the contrary, consists of a »ene9 of perpendicu- 
lar rocks, but, generally speaking, it is low and swampy ; in some 
places suddenly rising into hills, as about Angier. The largest 
mountains hare an elevation of from five to twelve thousand feet — 
they plainly show their volcanic origin. The western part is 
called the Sunda country ; and the eastern the Javan^ or the coun- 
try of the true Javanese. They occupy nearly equal parts ; differ-^ 
ent languages are spoken in the two districts, mixed a good deal 
with Malay, which is almost wholly spoken on the seacoast. 
Java, like most mountainous countries, is extremely well Watered ; 
but the size of the island precludes the possibility of there being 
any large rivers. The rain commences with the westerly winds, 
in October, is at its height in December and January, gradually 
subsides in March or April, and is succeeded by easterly winds 
and fair weather. 

During the rainy season, the whole of the extensive swamp, on 
which Batavia stands, is completely submerged,' and the roads to 
the city are then nearly impassable ; this is the season when 
reptiles abound, and moschetoes and insects bear sovereign sway. 
This is not the most unhealthy part of the year ; but when the 
rains are subsiding, and expose an immense surface covered with 
vegetable matter, in a state of putridity, fevers, dysenteries, &c., 
&c., are then upBifted by every breeze, and 'borne on every 

The principal harbour of the island is Surabaya, which is formed 
by the approaching extremities of the eastern part of Java» and the 

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island of Madura. The second rirer in size, in Java, empties it- 
self into the sea at this place. The next in importance, is Batayia ; 
the roadstead is sheltered by seyei:al islands, in the outer part of 
the bay. 

The population of Jaya and Madura, in 1815, amounted to four 
millions, six hundred and fifteen thousand, two hundred and seyenty, 
of which ninety-four thousand four hundred and forty-one were 
Chinese ; and the island of Madura contained two hundred and 
eighteen thousand; six hundred and seyenty»nine. The population 
of the principal capitals was estimated as follows : — Batayia and 
its extensiye suburbs haye a circumference of about tw^ity-four 
miles, and contain about three hundred and fifteen thousand souls ; 
Semarang, is calculated at twenty thousand; and Surabaya, at 
twenty-five thousand. 

I herewith present a comparatiy^ statement of exports from 
Jaya, during ten years, according to the report of the customs : — 


































75 000,000 






























































































* 1831 












• ThtcnHoMofeofibewMfintintradaMdmloJMmiiilTIS. 


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» • 




28 ^ 

























Java exports, besides the articles named, camphire from Sumatra 
and the Celebes. Edible bird's-nests, beeswax, gold dust, precious 
•tones, saltpetre, teak ahd other timber, and cabinet woods, to- 
bacco, stic-lac, brass, European, India and China goods ; tin, frouL 
Banka, dec; benzoin, bichos do mar, rattans, die-woods ftom. 
Borneo and Sumatra, sandal and other fine woods, pungent oils, 
horses, Bali clothes, elephants' teeth, Japan, copper, leather, areca- 
nuts, cubebs, boots, shoes, 6cc. 

Merchuidiie . 

S|MCIA * • • 

Import* daring 



Impoits during 



Specie . 

Bzporta daring 



Ejqioiii daring 



Passing the straits of Sonda, not touching at Angier, there 
arriyed at Batavia, in one year, ending ihe first of July, 1833, 
twenty-nine American vessels, containing eleven thousand one 
hundred and thirty-eight tons ; and touched at Angier, eighty-two 

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"« JAVA. 831 

American yessek, containing twenty-seyen thousand one hundred 
and thirty-nine tons ; of these, twenty-four went to Batavia, the 
remainder to Canton, Manila, dec, dec. 

Tq show the importance, in part, of American commerce, trading 
to the eastward of the cape of Good Hope, I herewith subjoin the 
following statement of arrivals at two ports in Java. It appears, 
by the custom-house returns, that there arrived at Batavia« in one 
year, ending the first of July, 1833, twenty-nine American vessels, 
amounting to eleven thousand one hundred and thirty-eight tons; 
and that eighty-two Americah vessels, having a tonnage of twenty- 
seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine tons, touched at 
Angier during one year, ending the first of June of the same year. 
This latter statement does not show all the vessels that passed 
through the straits of Sunda, and from the China and Java seas. If 
to this statement is added, the great and valuable conveyance to 
Sumatra, the bay of Bengal, dec., who will say it does not deserve 
the fostering and protecting hand of the government of. the United 

With the exception of two vessels, sent out on a special mission, 
the Peacock and Boxer, to Asia, dec, the visit of the Potomac to 
Qualah Battu, to punish an act of piracy and murder ; with the 
hurried return of one or two vessels from the western coast of 
South America, which barely touch at Manila or Java for refiresh- 
ments, this most valuable part of our commerce has been extremely 

We have also a valuable whale-fishery on the coast of Japan ; 
and accounts often reach us of American vessels- being cast on 
shore, on the islands and reefs in the vast Indian Archipelago, the 
crew being either murdered or made slaves, until a ransom is paid 
for them, unless they are relieved by some humane merchantman 
or foreign man-of-war : there is not a single armed vessel of the 
United States to relieve or protect them. Our vast comtnerce to 
the eastward of the cape of Good Hope, most ^suredly, should 
not be so overlooked, and left unprotected ; at least, it deserves an 
occasional visit from our vessels of war, to Madagascar and the 
Comoro islands ; the ports in east Africa, as far as Zanzibar and 
M<»nbos ; to Mocha, in the Red sea, and the western coasts of 
India. They should also visit, once in two or three months, the 
i^ve trading ports in Sumatra, and proceed as far as the western 

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coast of Japan, and among the ielancU of the^ Indian Archipelago, 
showing their flag, and conciliating, by ercry poBsible means, the 
natiyes they may meet, by giving them suitable presents occasioiif- 
ally, which would cost but a small sum. These visits ought to ^ ^ 
paid once or twice during each and every subsequent year. 

The totally unprotected state of our commerce, from the cape 
of Good Hope to Japan, deserves the immediate and constant pro- 
tection and attention of the American government. Tlie silkworm 
has never succeeded well, owing to the want of c<»nmon informa- 
tion or gross negligence; therefore the chief material of Javan 
clothing is cotton. The favourite cloth made in the country is 
called batik, of which they make their sarongs, or loose clodies, 
which extend from the waist neariy to the ankles. If it is intended 
to <Mmament the cloth with one or more patterns, it is first steeped 
in cunjee, or rice-water, to prevent the colours from running; 
it is then dried and calendered ; hot wax is then distributed over it, 
from a vessel, running through a small tube ; the pattern is then 
formed by being traced, or etched over with a pointed stick. Every 
part which is intended to be white, is left covered with wax. It is 
then dipped once or more in the die, or else the die is placed on 
with a pencil. If two or more colours are intended,. every part of 
the ground, excepting the new figure, is covered with wax, and so 
on till the whole figure is finished : the wax is then melted off in 
hot water. The figures have a velvet appearance, the edges of 
the different colours lessening in brightness. The only permanent 
^ colours are blue and scarlet, or red. They stamp palempores, or 
-coverlids, with carved wooden blocks. 

The English imitation cottons, readily fading, have been brought 
into disrepute. The kris, or kreese, is universally worn ; and the 
value and beauty of the weapon, are a test of the rank or wealth 
of the wearer. In full dress, two are frequently worn, and some- 
times even four: it seems to be an indispensable part of their 
dress. It is an instrument more suitable for assassination than for 

Neither the nutmeg, clove, nor cinnamon, is indigenous ; those 
which have been cultivated, are found to have thriven veiy well. 
But it does not comport with the views of the government to extend 
the oultivation of spices in Java : it is even in contemplation to de- 
stroy the rice plantations on Sumatra, in the neighbourhood ct 

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BencQoIen, The yine was extensively cultiyated in some of the 
eastern provinces; but the growth of it^as discouraged by the 
government, as it interfered, at that time, with the Dutch posses- 
sions at the cape of Good Hope. The soap-tree, of which the ker- 
nel is used in washing ; the cotton-tree, the wax and caoutchouc, 
or the tree which yields the gum-elastic, and the bamboo and rat- 
tan, are common. The cocoa-nut, and gomuti-pakns, are also 
very abundant, &c., dec. 

No region of the earth, say^ Marsden, can boast an equal abun- 
dance and variety of indigenous fruit? as Java ; but the Mangusteen 
bears the pre-eminence among Indian fruits, ^ind, in the opinion of 
most foreigners, is superior to the cherrapayer of Lima, or any 
other known fruit ; it suits the greatest diversity of tastes : is mildly 
acid, of a most delicate flavour, by no means luscious or cloying to 
the appetite ; the shape is globular, the rind about a fourth of an 
inch in thickness, and it is as large as a good-si2ed apple ; the shell 
is of a deep crimson or rather puiple and quite brittle ; disrobing it 
of its purple coat, there is displayed to view a snow-white pulp» 
distributed in three or four cloves ; ^hey are soft, very juicy, and 
occasionally touched with imperial purple, a colour once thought 
worthy of royalty only, and had it been known in ancient days, it 
would have been called the royal fruit ; within this truly delicate 
pulp lies the seed. But in the opinion of the natives and many 
foreigners who have long resided in the East, the dorian has the 
highest rank : the odour is peculiarly offensive to most foreigners, 
savouring of roasted onions : it has the appearance of bread-fruit, 
but the spires of the husk are larger : it is of a spherical shape, 
generally, and the size of a man's head, some being larger ; when 
ripe they are yellow, and crack like a ripe melon, at the stalk end : 
they are generally split into quarters, each one having several small 
cells, that enclose the fruit, which is covert with a pellicle or skin^ 
and encloses a stone covered also with a skin ; these are K>asted 
and eaten, and partake of the flavour of chestnuts ; the fruit is this 
size of a small egg, white as milk but sometimes tinged with yel- 
low, and as soft as cream ; it can only be eaten when at maturity ; 
it grows on the body or greater branches of the tree, is the pro- 
duct only of the Indian islands, and does not grow in Siam or 
Cochin-China ; it is always more expensive than any other fruit* I 
do not deem -it necessary to name any other fruits, excepting the 

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wild raspberry, which grows in the mountains, and the fruits named 
in the accoimt of Boitenzo'tg. 

Of esculent vegetables which contribute to the food and sustenance 
of man, rice is the mo^ important, of which it is said there are 
upward of a hundred varieties. Maize or Indian com ranks 
next. They cultivate also wheat, the sweet and the American or 
European potato, the yam or ubi, and pulse in a great variety ; 
the bread-fruit also, and .most of the vegetables of colder clinoates, 
the seed being imported continually from the cape of Good Hope. 

Neither milk, nor any preparation from it, is prized by the na- 
tives ; salted eggs are an important article of food-: they are covered 
with equal parts of salt and ashes, or salt and brick-d\ist, made into 
a thick paste : it preserves them for many months. . 

The chewing of areca-nut, as well as siri or betel-leaf, tobacco 
and gambir, is common to all classes. Every person who is able 
owns a siri'box, more or less valuable ; opium is exceedingly covet- 
ed by them, and is both chewed and snioked; added to these is the 
disgusting practice of holding tobacco between the lips, and at one 
comer of the mouth, the saliva from it staining the lips, and mnning 
over the chin ; they use, also, arrack, and an intoxicating liquor 
made from the gomuti palm* 

There are no metals or precious stones, but there are many 

They possess a fine breed of horses, strong, fleet, and well made, 
of about thirteen hands high — ^also the ox, buffalo, goats,. some 
sheep, and the hog. Of wild beasts, there are several species 
of tiger, cat, the jackall, wild dog, rhinoceros or wild Javan 
ox, the wild hog and the stag, the rib-faced and axis deer, the 
weasel, squirrel, and a variety of monkeys. The turkey, goose, 
0uck, fowls ; also, two kinds of parrots : the peacock, falcon, carrion- 
crow, and the owl. The number of birds of distinct species are 
said not much to exceed two hundred. 

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I NOW proceed to give some account of Batavia, dec. Although 
this city is situated in the midst of low, marshy ground, abounding 
in rice-swamps, and considered as the most luihealthy spot in the 
world, yet it is, neyertheless, a great conunercial place, and is 
much frequented by vessels bound to or from the China sea, Hin* 
dostan, Sumatra, Singapore, dec, dec. ; and it is the only place in 
the world which has any trade to Japan, with the exception of 
China. It is most conveniently situated to obtain commercial in- 
formation, and for refreshments. Before Singapore was made a 
free port, it was the principal mart for the country trade of the 
East Indies. Subsequently it has much diminished, and the very 
valuable trade with the Bugis, or natives of the Celebes, and other 
islanders of the Indian Archipelago, has been entirely diverted to 
Singapore, where the traders can always obtain a ready sale for 
their cargoes, and receive, in return, European, India, and Chinese 
goods, at more moderate prices, without having to pay any duties, 
or be subject to those inconvenient restrictions, which are so an* 
noying in Dutch ports. 

The immense ware-houses, running from street to street, situ- 
ated on the great canal and river, leading into the bay, which were 
once burdened with merchandise, are now scantily filled, or nearly 
empty ; and there are but few places so large as Batavia, in the 
present day, which show less signs of an active commerce, less 
bustle on the quays, or exhibit a greater degree of dulness, and 
want of bustle in the streets. This is owing, in part, to the belli- 

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gereni attitude ofHoIIaiid and Belgium ; the alarming war witli the 
Sumatrans ; the establishment of a free port by the British ; bm 
more particularly, to the narrow-coutracted yiews of the govens- 
ment, in regard to commerce. The Dutch goTemihent wish to 
drive all foreign commerce from their ports in Netherlands' India, 
with the exception of the native traders of the Indian isles ; and to 
extend, if it be possible, their unjust and iniquitous system of mth 
nopolies, and of forced cultivation, upon the natives, which have 
so often driven theijti to despair and revolt, causing whole districta, 
containing many thousands, to abandon their lands and their homeSi 
and fly to the fastnesses of the mountains, or to what are called 
the native provinces — ^preferring a very precarious mode of living, 
to being made the worst of slaves to the worst of masters, by being 
forced to cultivate coffee, and then to sell it for about half its £ur 
market value, to the Dutch company, leaving them, in Ceu;!, no 
means of support. 

Old Batavia is but the shadow of what it was in former days. It 
was once called the *^ Queen of the East ;" her merchants were 
** princes of the earth," in point of wealth, and lived in a style of 
magnificence, which far surpassed every other to the eastward of 
the cape of Good Hope, with the exception, in more modem days, 
of Calcutta. A traveller, visiting Batavia at the present day, in- 
quires for the splendid palaces, noble avenues of trees, and neat 
canals, with the gay pleasure-boats, which used to be seen sporting 
on their surface, accompanied with music, and graced with num- 
berless enchanting females. He then visits the most fashionable 
streets of former days, and a truly painful sight is presented at 
every step : of choked canals covered with slime, and green stag- 
nant pools, a resort of fro^s and snakes, and other reptiles. The 
noble avenues of trees, which led to splendid habitations, and the 
heavy, massive gateways, are still seen ; but the houses are either 
crumbling in the dust, or else a miserable palm-leaf hovel encimi- 
bers the space they once ornamented. But the gay inhabitants, who 
once gave life and animation to these fiur scenes, where are they ? 
Alas ! fled with " the years beyond the flood." Their bodies He 
mouldering, not only in the tens of thousands, or even the hundreds 
of thousands, but in the millions of graves which occupy, for many 
miles in extent, the city and its suburbs. 

They present a most painful and humiliating spectacle to every 

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«•*•! BAT ATI A. 887 

bebolder, whose feelings are not wholly callous to so sad a scene. 
The tenantable bouses which remain, are occupied by a squalid 
and sickly race of Chinese, Malays and Bugis, who are generally 
▼cry poor, and live upon the scantiest substance, being unable to 
remoTe to a better country, away from the pestiferous air which 
destroys their health, occasioned by deleterious swamps, stagnant 
pools, and the miasma which is constfintly generating from the 
decomposition of regetable matte^. ' 

It may be thought that I have given an exaggerated statement 
of the frightful mortality which has prevailed, and frequently does 
prevail at Batavia — which clothes the ground with graves^ and en- 
cumbers it with monuments ; but the returns of the Dutch records, 
according to Raynal, give the deaths of eighty-seven- thousand 
sailors and soldiers, in the hospitals, from 1714 to 1776 ; and up- 
ward of one million of inhabitants, in the very short space of 
iwenty^two years, from 17.30 to 1752, which can no longer leave 
any doubts as to its perfect correctness. 

Since the walls of the city were demolished by the British, and 
a great number of filthy and useless canals have been filled up, the 
general opinion is, (and more particularly vnthin the last half dozen 
years,) that the old town is rather less sickly than fixonerly ; how« 
ever, no new houses are being, erected within the city i»oper, but 
are extending altogether beyond the old barrier, in a southerly and 
easterly direction towards the country, from two to five miles, 
where it has been found much more healdiy. 

Stately avenues of trees Une the roads, and the few canak re« 
maining are kept more clean than fcmnerly. The modem houses 
are airy and spacious, generally of one story in height, and sur- 
rounded generally, with very wide piazzas. The avenues leading 
to the houses ase kept neatly gravelled ; and the grounds are 
adorned with trees, shrubs, and flowers : showing a correct taste 
which seems (to make use of a mercantile phrase) to have been 
imported from England, for it is quite at variance with the general 
style of laying out Dutch pleasure-grounds. In fact, there is an 
air of neatness and comfort displayed, which serves to divert the 
mind from dwelling too much on the fact, that you are living in the 
midst of this stdre-house of disease, where you are constantly 
wamed-by the inhabitants to keep away from every partial draft 
of air, for if the perspiration is checked, a fever or diarrhoea, or more 


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fatal dyaentery will ensue ^ and you are again warned* if the i 
breeze should set in early ^ before the sun has had time to absorb 
the exhalaiibnsy the malaria of the marshes, to keep within yonr 
room with closed doors. The night air is also highly deleterious, 
and the fervid rays of a noonday sun not less fatal, so that no per- 
son who is able fails to keep a carriage. Constant and profuse 
perspiration soon impairs the' digestive organs, loss of appetite fol- 
lows and debility ensues: mental and bodily exertion becomes pain- 
ful, and the liealth is soon impaired. 

These are a few among the tnanyy many drawbacks of an un- 
healthy tropical climate ; yet every climate is to be found in Java, 
from the most unhealthy to the most salubrious, from swamps 
teeming with exhalations in the highest degree nosious, to the pure 
mountain-breeze, which brings health on its wings, and is redoleni 
with the sweets wafted from a thousand fragrant flowers. 

The merchants go to the city about nine, take tiffin at their count- 
ing-houses at twelve, return to the country about four, and dine be- 
tween six and seven. As soon as the lights appear on the table, it 
is the signal for the sport of myriads of moschetoes and midges. 
Boots are then indispensable, unless the feet and ankles are other- 
wise well covered ; when the knife and fork do not claim die at- 
tention, your hands are industriously employed in driving off these 
eternal pests from the e]q)osed parts of the body. 

The hospitality of the English, Scotch, and Americans, is prover- 
bial, and they live upon the most amicable terms ; there is none of 
that petty jealousy, and bad feefing, which is seen to exist among 
rival houses, in many other places. 

The custom-house stands on the brink of the great canal, which 
leads into the bay, and where it once terminated, it probably^ ex- 
tends now three quarters of a mile beyond it, to die barrier or break- 
water, which has lately been erected at its entrance ; it is extremely 
shallow, suitable only for very small craft, and as it is constantly 
filling up by accumulations of fildi from the city, and by mud and 
sand thrown in by the sea-breeze, it is probable *it will within 
a few years, extend as far again into the bay. As a baneful 
monopolizing spirit seems to pervade this government in almost 
every particular, even the poor fishermen are notexempt, who labour 
continually in a broiling sun, or a deluge of rain, following their 
vocation far at sea. Their fish are sold at public auction at two o'clock 

y* ' Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


every afternoon, so that the goveniment may take their share of the 
**^h^" which fall to their lot ; the '^ loaves^ are obtained from 
the poor cultivators of the soil. The retailers, mostly Chinese, buy 
and hawk them about in baskets every where, at a very considera- 
bly advanced price. ^ 

The criminals repairing and extending the canal, may be hourly 
seen in the water, among caymans «r huge alligators, and are said 
never to have been molested by them, but in one instance, while 
a white, man is certain to be seized at once. If the alligator show 
a decided preference for the whites, the buffaloes throughout India 
show a very strong aversion to them« and either attack them or run 
from them in dismay ; yet the smallest Indian boy has them under 
complete control. 

The buffaloes, on the great western prairies in the ^United States, 
show the same aversion to the whites, or probably to all hunters, 
and» whenever they see them, they fly in great terror ; xbb hunters, 
theretore, always go to leeward of the herd. 

The Chinese burying*grounds occupy a vast extent of land in 
the suburbs ; I may say, with truth, of many miles. Near one of 
them is an old temple, in which are deposited, probably, fifteen or 
twenty idols, principally n&ade of granite, dug up at various times, 
on the island. They are said to be of Javanese origin, but they 
must have been brought thither by Bramins in bygone days. 
The Chinese worship them, as they do every thing else that bears 
the remotest appearance to '^ the human face divine," or any of 
the hideous images representing the demon of mischief— -any 
thing, but the one, great, invisible Being. The public archives 
are kept in the extensive building, called the palace, at Wel- 

The governor does not occupy this building, when in toven, but 
a much smaller one, on the street of which the " Genootschap,'' or 
academy of arts and sciences occupies one part, in the building 
kept for public parties, called the " Harmonic." 

The palace is a noble building, and kept in good order. In the 
audience hall are about forty pictures, of the Dutch governor- 
generals of Netherlands' India. Some of tbem are dressed in 
very quaint costume, and if their countenances are faithfully rep- 
resented, I must say, no man would willingly change faces with 
the greater part of thenvs There are a few, however, of noble and 

, * Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


manly features, who have nothing saToniing of the ** thumbscrew^ 
in their countenances. Generally^ the paintings are bad — some 
four or five are very yaluable. A full-length portrait of his present 
majesty is placed at the head of the room. 

The wages paid to servants hate nearly doubled within a few 
years ; the present rate is from six to twelve guilders (equal to 
two dollars, forty cents, or four dollars, eighty cents) per month, out 
of which they furnish their provisions in part, which consist prin* 
cipally of rice, it being a very cheap article in Java. Considering 
that each servant attends to but one piece of duty — that one bujong 
attends to the cutting of grass only, for two horses, which occupies 
but a small part of the day, and that the larger portion of the time of 
the almost innuinerable servants is spent in idleness, labour is ex« 
eessively high, compared with that of any other country, even the 
dearest parts of the United States. The house-servants, with few 
exceptions, are Malays, who speak no English. 

The Genootschap, or Academy of Arts and Sciences, has a small 
library of a few hundred volumes. With the exception of a model 
of a bridge, a Javanese lion, some half dozen miniature models 
of Japanese houses, warlike instruments, a few coins, and a few 
conunon shells, there is nothing worth naming. 

Our kind Batavian friends accompanied us on board, and on the 
twenty-second of July we sailed for Angier, where we arrived die 
following day. During our stay the thermometer ranged in the 
roadstead from 83^ to 89^, and the barometer between 29.75 
to 29.95. There were only five days on which it mined, and 
then only light showers. There were some cases of dysentery, 
diarrhcea, and fevers, but there were no deaths among the crew* 
There were about two cases of dysentery to one of fever. 

Toward midnight, on the twenty-eighth of July, as the moon 
was gently sinking behind the mountains which overlook the cam- 
pong of Angier, a light land-breeze suddenly sprung up. Orders 
were inunediately given to weigh anchor. The shrill whistle of 
the boatswain and his two mates, followed by their deep grum 
voices, calling all hands, ^' roused many a heavy sleeper, unwil- 
lingly from his hammock," wishing the boatswain, and his call 
together, in Davy Jones's locker. We were under way in a few 
minutes, in company with the Boxer, proceeding through the 
straits of Sunda, having once more launched into the Indian ocean. 

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The lofty peak of Crokatoa« the mountainous island of Tamarind, 
and the lesser islands of Thwart, the Way, the Button, and the 
Cap, with part of the coast of Sumatra, were distinctly yisible. 
Before losing sight of Prince's island, the wind came from the 
southward and eastward, accompanied with fine weather, which 
continued to waft us rapidly oyer the rolling billows to the west- 
ward, till the sixteenth of August, having run our westing down 
mostly between the latitude of 10^ 11^^ to secure strong breezes ; 
being then in latitude about 2^ south and 52^^ east longitude, the 
wind Teered to the southwest, but without any diminution of 
strength, or any alteration of the fine weather we had preyiously 
enjoyed^ It continued untfl the evening of the twentieth, when wo 
deiBcried, first, the most easterly land on the continent of Africa* 
cape Orfiii, otherwise called, by the Arabs, Ras Hafoon ; then the 
mountains lying to the northward of this cape, called Gebel Jorda- 
foon ; and dien cape Guardafui, or the cape of byrials ; the north* 
east extremity of Africa, and the southernmost cape of the gulf of 
Arabia. The land appeared like the outline of a well-defined cloud, 
high in the heavens. The next morning, we doubled close round 
this bold promontory, which was so fonnidable in ancient times to 
the timid Arabian mariner. 

*^ The shrill spirit of the storm sat not dim upon the bluff brow,** 
^ nor enjoyed the death of the mariner,'' for the morning was bright^ 
and frdr, and joyons. The loud roaring of the sea shamed not the 
thunder, as it was wont to do, for it was abnost unruffled. The 
tremendous soimd of the mysterious bell, which was wont to be 
heard high above the loud surges of the ocean, warning the mariner 
of his fate, if he approached too boldly, was hushed ; and the bodi- 
less hand, which was seen to give it motion, had disappeared in the 
lapse of ages. We kept close to the northern shore, as far as 
Hette, or Burnt island, to take the benefit of a current setting to 
the westward. 

Being so near the land, we suffered severely from the hot, suffo* 
eating air of this inhospitable region Clothes were a burden, 
sleep fled from us, and the slightest exertion was painfull The 
whole aspect of the land was most dreary and most desolate. 
Mountains and plains of sand, only, were presented to our view, 
looking ^'like drifted gold in summer's cloudless beam." Not a 
tree, nor a shrub, nor scarcely a blade of grass, to relieve the eye 

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of the extreme aridity of this rast wilderness. Here and there, at 
great intervals, were a few miserable huts, in a gully, formed by 
the washing away of die sand ; and the great comfort derived from 
the " shadow of a high rock in a hot and dreary land," would hare 
been felt here as an inestimable blessing. NoW and theb, a naked 
and poverty-stricken fishennan was seen stealing along the shore, 
propelling, with his dbuble-bladed paddle, a frail catamaran, made 
of two or three sticks of wood, sitting to his waist in water, having 
a rush sack to put his fish in, and liable to be made the prey ci the 
voracious blue shark, which abounds in these waters. He was in 
search of what could not be found on the land, to wit, something 
edible ; something to nourish his own frtul body, or satisfy the 
cravings of a famishing wife, and a brood of naked, starving, help- 
less children. 

We were a few days iii accomplishing the short distance of two 
hundred and forty miles, from the cape to Mett^, and then shaped 
our course for cape Aden in Arabia Felix, which we descried the 
following morning, presenting a bold, broken outline. We con- 
tinued coasting along the shore till the twenty-ninth, when we spoke 
an East India company^s cruiser, the Nautilus, the same brig which 
the Peacock captured at the terminaticm of the late war with Great 
Britain. She bad under convoy four brigs from Mocha, bound to 
Surat. They were very much crowded with good mussulmans» 
from Mecca, who had been on a pilgrimage to the holy city, and 
were purified of all their sins, past, present, and to come, by the 
waters of the miraculous well of Zemzen, 6lc^ and were now sure 
of admission into the sensual paradise of the prophet. 

The triple and quadruple mountains of Yenien were distinctly 
visible, and the sandy coast was interrupted at intervals by high 
land, till we made the broken hill which forms the celebrated cape 
of Death, or cape of Tears, Babel Mandeb, better known to the 
world as Babel Mandel. The passage between this headland and 
the island of Perim, and Babel Mandeb, is less than a mile and a 
half wide according to the chart of Sir Home Popham. It is caUed 
by modem navigators the lesser Bab, or Gate. 

Head winds and adverse currents obliged us to enter the Red 
sea through the great channel formed between Perim and the 
group of islands, called " Souamba," or the Eight Brothers, lying 
on the Abyssinian shore. We therefore had on either hand Afiri- 

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ca and Asia in fuQ view, both equally sleril^and lofty in the interior. 
Although the distance is but forty miles to Mocha, from the straits, 
yet it occupied the remaining two days of the month to effect it, 
owing to contrary currents and winds. We anchored in five fath- 
oms water, at the distance of two miles frx)m the shore ; inmiediate- 
ly on anchoring, a lieutenant (Brent) was sent on shore to the dow« 
lah or governor, to say that a salute of fifteen guns should be given, 
if an equal number were returned ; this was promptly complied 
with. We found Mocha in possession of a Turkish rebel chieftain, 
Turkie ben al Mas by name, who it seems has held it for the last 
seven months ; he was an officer in the service of Mehemet Ali 
the celebrated pacha of Egypt, and being discontented with hit 
situation he thought it best to carve out for himself, with the assist- 
ance of his sword, a little good fortune, in the shape of a govenior 
over a few cities ; he collected together a number of followers, sol- 
diers of fortune, who are always to be found in Egypt, as well as 
in Turkey and elsewhere, ready to draw the sword for those who 
will pay the best and make the largest pnmiises. These tEOopt 
consisted of Turks, Copts or Egyptians, Bedouin and other Arabs, 
and Abyssinians. It seems on his march from Qrand Cairo, where 
the expedition was planned, he conquered the principal places, ly- 
ing on the Arabian side of the Red sea ; meeting with some op- 
position at Judda alias Djidda, the port of disembarkation for pil- 
grims going to the holy city of Mecca, it was plundered and many 
of the inhabitants were slain. Here he found seven large East India 
built ships, armed and equipped, belonging to his late master ; of 
diese, he took forcible possession, putting on board some troops, 
and ordering them to Mocha to co-operate with his army which 
proceeded by land. He marched on with about three thousand men, 
capturing on his way Hodeida, Loheia, &c., till he came to Zebid, 
better known as Waled Zebid : here he met with considerable op- 
position, but finally it was obliged to submit to the " strong arm.** 
Exasperated at the resistance made by the dowlah, he ordered him 
to be put to the most cruel death — sUch a one as could only enter 
into the imagination of a fiend of darkness. A copper cap was nfade, 
heated red hot, then fitted to his head, and his brains were literally 
fried out, he dying in the most excruciating tortures. This place 
(Mocha) capitulated after some slight skirmishing, on condition that 
the dowlah and the garrison should be suffered to depart unmo- 

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lestedy with their arms, accoutrements and baggage, to the interior ; 
tliis was faithfully complied with as it regarded the troops ; they 
were suffered to depart without molestation to the mountains of 
Yemen. The dowlah was promised every indulgence, and the 
conqueror apparently took a deep interest in his welfare. He was 
askedy with great seaming kindness, if he had a family, wives and 
phikiren, in the interior, and if he did not wish to see them speed* 
ily. He answered in- the affirmative, and expressed himself in 
. very forcible and affectionate terms — such as may be supposed to 
emanate from a man of ardent temperament, and one whose feel- 
ings are centred in the bosom of his Amily. He was informed 
that ail his fears should be speedily hushed, that he should depart 
for the mountains, and be allowed a body-guard for his protection. 
On the second night after their departure, as they drew near the 
first rise of mountains, and within sight of the hills which over- 
looked the home of his children, anticipating the delightful pleasure 
of once more beholding and embracing them, as he vras resting on 
At ground and partaking an humble meal, he was most treacher- 
ously and cruelly shot, in two places, through the back, and there 
left to be a prey for the eagle and jackall of the mountains; while 
his poor and fatherless children were daily and hourly looking from 
their teal-doors into the valleys, wondering why he tarried so long, 
and complaining of his tardiness ; but, alas, their eyes were never 
destined to behold him more. 

By a particular invitation, we visited the conqueror. We landed 
at a stone-pier, and shortly passed through one of the city-gates. 
After winding throogh »tremely narrow and crooked streets, 
which were as hot as the blast from a *' baker's oven,** we arrived 
at a building dignified vrith the name of " the palace,'' fronting an 
open space of ground on one side, and on another, overlooking the 
harbour. There were, lounging about the grand entrance, a goodly 
number of his cut-throats, whose trade and pastime are blood, 
armed to the teeth, and ready for service. We were c<Hiducted 
through long dark passages, up a precipitous staircase, wide 
enough only for one person to advance at a time. Landing places 
were frequent, and heavy doors at each, so as to cut off all com- 
munication : wherever a soldier could be placed on the narrow 
landings or passages, either above or below, there was no space 
left empty. In passing through the entrance^ up this narrow stair- 
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am.1 TISIT TO THV 60TERN0E. 845 

way, the scene of so much bloodshed at different times,^we were 
strongly imprassed with the idea, mat the lumps of dirt and th^ 
spots on the walls, were the blood and brains of many a victim ; 
and however erroneous the opinion might be, we imagined every 
thing about the palace smelt of blood, a6 though it were the sham- 
bles of wretched human beings. 

We passed through the anteroom, filled with his body guard, 
and found him reclining on a raised settee, covered with Turkey 
carpets. Captain G. and myself were requested to take seats on 
each side of him — ^he placing himself in the comer, of the settee, 
probably as a precautionary means against treachery. He was a 
stout, noble looking man, having a bushy black -beard and mus- 
taches ; his aspect was by no means ferocious. He was rather 
plainly dressed, in dark striped silk, and wore the red cloth cap. 

He treated us with great affabiUty. and kindness, expressed him- 
self highly gratified at the sight of two American men-of-war, (be^ 
ing the first, as we understood, that had ever entered the port.) He 
offered every assistance in his power, and sent to the ship a pres<^ 
ent of some bullocks, sheep, and vegetables. Our conversation 
related principally to. the difference in charges paid on English and 
American vessels. It seems the English vessels pay a duty of 
two and a quarter per cent., without any other charges, while the 
Americans pay three per cent. Anchorage money, which vras one 
hundred and eighty, has been increased as high as three hundred and 
fifty dollars on the largest vessels, although it has been lessened 
lately to two hundred and fifty : the harl^our-master, also, is paid 
twenty-three dollars : there are, besides, some smaller impositions. 
He promised to do all that lay in his power, to equalize the charges 
on English and American vessels ; but said that . the government 
was in a very unsettled state at present; that he had sent de- 
spatches to the sultan of Stamboul, alias, Constantinople, announ- 
cing the conquest of this and other places in his name, and that he 
was now awaiting his orders, &c. 

The wide anteroom-doors being open, the guard was vrithin a 
few feet of tis, and heard all our conversation. They were prin- 
cipally Turks : some wore the turban, and others the red mUitary 
cap. They were heavily armed about the waist, with two pair of 
horse-pistols, a cimeter, and perhaps with one or twoxlaggers; the 
bandies' of all being fancifully inlaid with silver. Their com- 


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^iteiions were genenDy of a ]^^ olhre, with black eyes and long 
beards. Some were qoite white, hmTing smaU Teiy Ugfat Une 
eyes. They were fine looking men, poesessii^ stoot mnscdar 
firamee. The deeres of many were tucked op to the shoulder, 
showing a reiy brawny aim. They stood in a respectful attitude, 
but not cringing, like a Siamese or Cochin-Chinese, in the pres- 
ence of a superior. They were indolent in their appearance, yet 
the ferocity of the 'tiger hiiked in their countenances. A sign or a 
Bod ; a word, or eren a wink, was sufficient for these blood-hoonds 
to lay us dead at their master's feet But such iiears were far from 
iis» or that the delicious coffee of Yemen, which we were sippinf^ 
was iinboed with poiscm. 

Part of his fine stud of Arabian horses were handsomely capari- 
soned and brought to die door, for us to ride through the town and 
into the suburbs, to see the extensire Tillages of the Arabs, Som- 
manhs, or Abyssinians. The Tillage, occupied fonneriy by die 
Jews, was deserted; what had become of them, we could not 
team. Two sIsTes were placed at the stirrup of each horse to 
accompany the patty : for the most part of the W9j they kept 
pace irith the riders. These Tillages are situated, generally, in 
tbe midst of extensiTC date-groTCs. The houses of the Sommanlis 
baTe neat conical roofs, made of date-IeaTes, or coarse mshes, and 
tbe sides are of the same material, or of mats. They haTe wodly 
bair mostly^ extremely black skins, but prominent noses, limbs 
well formed, fine teeth, and rather pleasant countenances : tbey are 
as straight built as the young areca. 

There is a strange fiishion prcTailing among the fops of this Til- 
hge; that of changing the cdour of their wool to a lig^t brown or 
yeUow ; but as the colouring of gray hair, among a more ciTilised 
people, is by no means unconunon, they are not, therefore, alto- 
gather singular. These fops had no other corering to boast of 
than a waist^Ioth. 

The lofty mountains of Yemen afford great relief to the inland 
prospect ; but in the immediate Ticinity of Mocha, there is only an 
estensiTe date-grore ; elsewhere ereiy thing is desolate and steril : 
the eye wandera in Tain for an oasis, for some green spot, and sees 
only tufts of coarse brown grass, and a plain of sand. The town 
has a Teiy neat and substantial appearance from the roadstead, 
piesenting to the Tiew a compact mass of white buildings, mosqueti 

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minaretfly and. casUes, breaking only the unifonnhy of the scene. 
They are lohy, so as to catch every breeze which passes orer the 
walls — are flat^roofed, and the inhabitants sleep on them in conse- 
quence' of the excessive heat. They are protected, in part, against 
the baneful effects iurising from heavy dews, and from the power of 
the moon, by a light leaf roof; are clumsily built, mostly of brick 
baked in the sun ; and there is no appearance that a level was ever 
used. The floors are undulating, like the waves of the sea. Crook- 
ed, dark, and^nairow passages, and steep staircases, with strong 
doors at every landing, ready to be barricaded in case of an insittw 
rection, or an enemy making his appearance, are common in every 
house : in fact, every dwelling is a strong castle. On entering 
within the city, walls, all idea of comfort instantly vanishes; dirty, 
intricate streets are every where lumbered with the rubbish from 
ruined buildings ; turbaAed heads, the red military cap, and loose 
floating gajrments, are seen at every step, all being heavily armed 
about the waist, ** ready to do battle ;" women, with closely veiled 
£»ces; porters, sweating most profrisely, under heavy loads of 
luscious dates, oozing through the meshes of the slight mat cover- 
ing ; strings of camels, laden with coffee, dec, from Yemen, lying 
in the streets, munching their allotted portion of hard brown beansi 
or bearing about skins of water for sale ; asses, without mmbert 
laden variously ; small droves of miserable cattle, or rather frumes 
set up ready for filling out^ if sufficient encouragement should be 
given to effect it. Abyssinian sheep, covered with hair inirtead'of 
wool, having broad tails, hanging nearly to the ground : they are 
mostly black-headed, affording delicious mutton: goats, every 
where, grown fat even upon the coarsest rushes, and the twigs and 
leaves of the common thom. But the most distressing sight is that 
of the poor, blind, diseased, and lame beggars, which meet yoti 
every where, in the streets and in the bazars, at the mosque-doom 
and at the doors of the palace, in the suburbs and at the gates of the 
city, begging most earnestly for the smallest pittance^ for even one 
or two commass^es, (a small copper coin, being three hundred had 
eighty to the dollar,) or a few covmes. Some of them were mere 
walking skeletons ; their frames being covered with shriveUed 
brown parchment, stretched over what resembled bunches of dried 
catgut, being the muscular parts of the body^ They had deep 
sunken cheeks, hollow to the bones, and sharp noses \ the nestrilt 

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heing 80 flipped ia as to present only the lalurk of an diifice, like an 
old closed and deep-cut ipvound, badly united : not a particle of 
flesh was«.on their legs, arms, or their cdliapsed bodies. Some 
eottld walk, but how it was effected, in their extremely emaciated 
oondition, was a mystery of wonder ; the rii^test breath of wiod 
would almost overpower them ; and I was, several times,, upon the 
eve oi holding out my hands to save these shadows from being 
dashed to the ground. Death stared them in the face, and only 
suffered t))em to remain in misery a few moofients longer, that they 
might complete, perhaps, their allotted task of p^unoe, for ^e viLe 
deeds done in the body. 

We passed through extensive covered bazars, which appeased to 
be well supplied with goods. The size of 8(»ne of the 8bq>8, or 
rather closes, was extremely small, the vender sitting widi bis 
legs under him, having every thing within readi of bis hands. There 
%ras ^bttt little fruit and vegetables for sale, but >fish and fowls, goats, 
iheep, and bullodLS, in abundance ; plenty^of dates ; some higjUy* 
iavoured, but extremely small oblong grapes ; raisins, without 
jeed; and orditiary pomegranates. Occasionally, thero may be 
•had Water-melons, sweet potatoes, <mions, ^ superior kind of sonel, 
and some long gourds. 

About the coffee-houses, (or rather sheds,) vrere aeen,in.gxoup0» 
•ddiers, smoking their chebouks, and sipping their small cups 
(resembling e^^ups) of coffee, made from the husk of the beny, 
without the addition of sugar or milk. They were generally re- 
eUnmg on rough-made settees, covered with the strong leaf of the 
4ate-palm. They were of all shades, from the deep black to the 
iHTOwn Bedouin, and*to the unadulterated white from Georgia and 
4fae Caucasian mountains. They were, virith scarcely an excep- 
(icm, men of noble features : their dresses were as various as the 
nati^ms they came from. They pay only three or four commass^s 
for their rdfreshments. Thia small coin, and covmes, are the only 
currency used in the bazars for small transactions ; but Spanish 
doUslrs and Genttan crowns are almost wholly used in larger ones ; 
mad Persian rupees, and those of Bombay and Surat, and foreign 
gold, Sje no strangers. During the time I was examining this nu>t- 
ley group of stnoige beings, the hour of evening prayer drew nigh. 
As the siin disappeared behind the mountains of Abyssinia,.a loud 
cry was heard — *' HaA !" cried many voices : — 

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** Haik, bom. ifae flaMqu«, the nightly Mlemn toand, 
The MiMzzin'f call doth shake the minaret : 
<ThexeiflnoGodbatGod: toprayer— lo! God if great* ** 

£ach one Aen spread Lis gannent, or a mat, upon the grouiid« and 
fxifllaiidy the assembled multitude of Mussulmans were cm their 
knees, facing to the north towards Mecca, and praying to Allah 
with low prostrations, and every outward demonstration of intense 
deyoticm. It was a pleasing sight even to a ^ Giaour," to one who 
never doubted the founder of their religion was not the ^true 
prophet ;" but 'Still, it must be acknowledged, he was of infinite 
service in taming millions from gross idolatry, to the worship of 
•'Vone troe and ever-living God." 

The export of coffee from this place, annually, is about eight 
thousand bales, of three hundred and five pounds eadi ; and the 
price, at present, is said to b^ from twentyncune to thirty-two dol- 
lars per bale ; but we paid at the rate of thirty-six dollars for some 
bales of the very first quality. A small part of this goes to the 
Persian gulf, to Surat, and Bombay, probably making, altogether, 
one half; the remainder is taken by the Americans. From the 
odier ports in the Red sea, as high up as Djedda, ( Judda,) it is car- 
ried to El Goseir, or Kooseir, Suez, &c. ; and so on to Egypt, 
Turkey, &c. Gum Arabic, myrtb, frankincense, dates, and a few 
smaller articles, may be added to the list of exports. The diffi- 
culty of egress, during the northeast monsoon, the wind and current 
adverse and very strong, which commences about the latter 
part of September, is a great obstacle in trading to this port. - If it 
was possible to direct the trade to Aden, situated a hundred miles 
to the eastward of cape Babel Mandeb, which is furnished 
with two good harbours, this very serious obstacle would be ob- 
viated. In no part of the world have J seen fish in greater abun- 
dance ; they go in inmiense shoals, and appear, to an inexperienced 
eye, like low breakers over spits of sand, or a barred harbour. 
Birds are, in great numbers, hovering over them, waiting with im- 
patience for their portion of food. Rock-weedis seen floating down 
the Red sea in great quantities. The only boat used for fishing, 
is the catamaran, similar to those already described. The station- 
ary number of inhabitants in the city, is said not to exceed five 
thousand ; but, at present, there are probably about ten thousand, in 
addition, including the soldiers, women and children, and other fol- 

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850 SMBA88Y TO THS SA8T. Umu^ 

lowers of die army. In the environs of the city, are seen thousands 
of miserable beings, lying on mats or on the sand, having a sUghl 
tent made of the date-leaf, a mat or two, or some rags tacked 
together, possessing little or no covering for the body, and appa- 
rently scarcely any thing on which to feed it, to prevent the im- 
mortal part from deserting the mortal. 

I observed, in several houses, the '^transparent stone," which 
is placed over the tops of the latticed windows ; there was as much 
light shed through it as through ground glass. 

The colour of the Red sea has lon^ given occasion to a variety 
of conjectures and speculations. Doctor Ehrenberg discovered 
that it was owing to small animalcules, which he names, ^' oadUa- 
toria," vdiich hold a rank midway between plants and animals. 
This colour may hold good, as it regards the more northern part of 
the'sea, but at Mocha it is of a light sea-green. 

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Wb remained in Mocba roads only two days, and then sailed, 
on the evening of the first of September, for Muscat. Owing to 
Ught winds, we did not pass the " Lesser Bab," or the narrow 
straits of Babel Mandel, till three o'clock in the morning of the 
third, haying drifted through them by the help of the current, in 
a night resplendentiy beautiful, and ^*in silence" passed we 
'* through the Gate of Tears." 

Nothing remarkable occurred on our passage through the gulf 
and sea of Arabia, till the thirteenth, when we made Ras el Had, 
or cape Rosselgate, being the extreme northeastern limit of 
Arabia, having had the winds, during the passage, very light, firom 
the southward and westward. Ras el Had is a low sandy point. 
A range of high mountains form the background of the landscape, 
which hare an altitude of nearly seyen thousand feet ; this is a link 
in a chain of mountains, which extend as far as the Devil's Gap 
and Kuriat, and are known by the name of Jeebel Huthera, or the 
Green moimtams. Off the cape, were a great number of small 
boats fishing, principally with spears and grains ; the harpooner 
standing in the bow, who, immediately on striking a fish, sprung 
into the water, more effectually to secure his prey. Sharlu ap- 
peared to be their object, which are dried and shipped to various 
places ; and the fins reserved solely for the China market. The 
surface of the water was red with myriads of crabs, which were sent 
forth by the Great Provider of all things, to sustain the larger fish. 
The day previous to our anrival, as we lay at anchor, a few miles 
from Muscat, a boat was despatched, under the command of Acting* 

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352 BMBA88T TO THS EAST. DtaptaaMr. 

Lieutenant Brent, to the sultan, to infonn hiih of our airiyal, and 
the object of the visit. The boat returned laden vvitli abundance 
of exquisite grapes^ of four different kinds^ and ripe dates^ just 
plucked from the trees, and strung together like large golden beads, 
refreshing to the taste, and by no means too luscious or cloying 
to the appetite. There were other fruits also sent, such as the sea- 
son affcMrded, with a number of goats and sheep, being presents from 
the sultan ; bringing also complimentary messages, and congratu* 
lating us on our safe arrival, and expressing himself highly flattered, 
that, at length. United States' sl^ips-of-war should, for the first 
time, visit his ports, and more especially for the object of the 
mission. On the evening of the eighteenth, we anchored in Mus- 
cat cove, in company with the Boxer. The winds from the cape, 
were very light, from between southwest and southeast ; and the 
current constantly against us, setting out of the Persian gulf. The 
coast appeared to be nearly as steril as that of Abyssinia or So- 
mauli, being mountainous, barren, rocky* and sandy ; but villages 
were much oftener to be seen, and frequently of a large si^, in 
the midst of groves of the date-palm. Boats also were in great 
'numbers, and well built, instead of the frail catamaran ; Uiey were 
provided with cotton sails, and the owners were, apparently, better 
fed than those about the Red sea, and wore most venerable long 
beards, quite outstripping any of the ^oat family. The waters were 
teeming with food — fish were in greater abundance, if it be possi- 
ble, than about Mocha. In the morning, an interchange of salutes 
took place. The harbour, or rather eove of Muscat, is extremely 
limited in its dimensions ; it does not exceed three fourths of a mile 
in depth, from its entrance at the small islet, called the Fishers* 
Rock, lying off the northern part of the Muscat island, and its 
width, between the fort on the island, and another fort on the 
main, on the western shore, is scarcely one half its, depth. It is 
open to the north, and during the prevalence of northerly and 
westeily gales, in the winter, a heavy sea is thrown in. The cove 
is bounded by very precipitous black rocks, running up to the 
height of three or four hundred feet, being much jagged or serrated ; 
and on the higher parts are perched small circular towers, which 
are said to have been placed there by the Portuguese, in the '^ olden- 
time,^ when they held possession of the place. They are, appa- 
rently, inaccessible to every thing, but hawks, guUs, and sea-swal- 

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MUSCAT. 868 

lows^which abound in its caverns and fissures.. No place (except* 
ing always a plain of sand) presents a more forbidding aspect than 
thiiB ; not a green thing is to be seen, whether tree, shrub, or plan^ 
from the roadstead. The town and its two castles, which crown 
the tops of very high rocks, to the east and to the notth, and which 
are evidently intended as much to overawe and defend the town, as 
the harbotur, together with the two forts and its towers, axe the only 
objects (if f may except a few white stone houses) which at all 
relieve the dreary prospect. Unless the wind blows from the 
northward, or a strong breeze from the southward and eastward, 
through the nazrow gap, which separates Muscat island from the 
main land, the heat is excessive, for there is not the slightest de- 
gree of elasticity in the air ; and the heated rocks are never cooled 
during three fourths of the year, and the sun seems to darf forth its 
* rays with great malignity. During our stay, the ni^t wind occa- 
sionally blew from the land, and then the heat was almost insup* 
portable; every one complained of its suffocating effects, the 
perspiration poured from the body like rai% and the strength was 
at once prostrate. The town lies at the bottom of the cove, at the 
only level spot to be aeen, between very high ridges of rocks in 
the southwestern quarter. It is walled, excepting the part fronting 
the harbour, having round towers at the prmcipal imgles. With 
&e exception of the sultanas palace, whose walls are bathed on the 
harbour side by *' Oman's green waters," and on another side by 
the bazar, a narrow, dark covered street, and a few other decent 
looking houses, miserably built of stone, and coated with chunam, 
the larger portion are small, dark, and filthy, tnade of palm- 
branches only, or at best covered with mats, or coated with mad» 
so that the periodical rains frequently demolish a considerable por« 
tion of the city, and they are then seen floating in fragments through 
the streets, which are converted into so many canals, by the tor- 
rents of water which descend from the circumjacent mountains. A 
mat laid on the bare earth, is the bed of the occupants, and their 
hands pillow their heads ; an earthen pot is their only cooking 
utensil, and dried camel's dung and palm-branches their fuel. 
Dates and fish, in scanty quantities, twice a day, form generally 
their meals ; and when they are so fortunate as to obtain a few 
ounces of goat-meot, it is cut into small pieces, and roasted on 
wooden skewers. The inhabitants are indolent, and those who are 


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954 SMBASBT TO THS SAST. Uliiimiur. 

oeither sailors nor soldiers, mechmnics nor merchantSi are miserabl j 
poor. Beggars are every where, and it 13 even a more remarkable 
place for blind people than Mocha ; they are seen in groups at the 
comers of the streets, crying out in the most piteous manner, for 
the lov/ of Allah, the holy prophet, and all the santons, to gire them 
something to relieve their wretched con4iuon. The lanes, or 
rather slits, between the buildings, are very irregular, encumbered 
with filth and rubbish ; and the houses are similar in construction 
to those of Mocha. The city, within the walls, is reported to con* 
tain about twelve thousand inhabitants, and as every foot of ground 
is covered with buildings, (there being neither gardens nor open 
squares,) I suppose this nmnber not to be exaggerated, notwith- 
standing the circumference of the walls does not exceed a mile. 
The larger part of the inhabitants are Arabs ; the remainder are 
firom various parts of Hindostan, Persians, Scindians, Abyssinians, 
and negro slaves from the coast of Zanzibar ; all reposing in safety 
under the mild and equitable ^government of a very worthy prince. 
The p<^ulationpf the suburbs is estimated at five thousand. Here 
may be seen weavers manufacturing fine check cloth, with red and 
yellow silk ends, whidi form the turbans, universally worn by all 
who are bom within the kingdom of A man, whether the sultan 
or the subject. The weavers dig a hole in the ground, for 
their feet, and form a seat a stq> higher, to sit on ; they use a 
very primitive loom, and the web is extended but a few inches 
above the ground, a light date-leaf shed serving to protect them 
against the rays of the sun. A few blacksmiths, coppersmiths, 
ropemakers, carpenters, and sandal-makers, are almost the only 
trades that are carried on to any extent. The mechanic arts are 
conducted in the streets, under open sheds« The bellows of the 
smiths are of a very primitive constmction ; two skins are so ar- 
ranged, that while one is filling with air, they blow vnth the other ; 
with a hand placed on each, they are altemately depressed and 
filled. A hole in the ground serves for a fireplace, and another 
for water ; a stone serves for an anvil, and with clumsy hammers, 
and sitting on their hams, they carry on, in a very slow manner, 
their imperfect trade. The slave-bazar is near the landing-place^ 
and a sale is made every evening towards sunset ; the slaves are 
well oiled, to show a smopth skin, and they are decently dressed ; 
the males with a waistcloth, and the females have, in addition, a 

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um tlATB-BAZAES — BARBBE0. 355 

breastcloth. The auctioneer parades them throuj^ the streets on 
the day of sale, and, if a higher price is not offered sX public sale, 
than was bid priyately, they are then delivered to the highest 
private bidder. Goods are hawked out about the streets in the 
same way ; to wit, Cashmere shawls, swords* spears, rhinoceros 
shields, dec, dec. The slave-bazar is a great resort for Arab 
dandies ; decorated with fine sabres and silver-hilted crooked dag- 
gers, which are worn in the shawls which encircle their waists ; 
their long beards well perfumed, and dieir turbans arranged ac- 
cording to the prevailing fashion, they examine females as well as 
males, with little regard to delicacy, or even to common decency. 
In passing through the streets, we constantly met Arab, Abyssinian, 
and negro, women with masks, having in them oblong eye-holes; 
they were made of black cloth or sOk, some being bound with gold 
lace ; their dress a black, blue, or dark robe, with trousers of the 
same, or else made of cross-barred silk. Very few of them turned 
their faces to the wall when we passed, but they stopped and took 
a fun view of us. Hindoo barbers carry on their trade generally 
in the street. After having shaved the head, a part of the face, 
and over the eyelids^ extracted the hairs from the nose and ears, 
trimmed the mustaches, and perfumed the beard with ihNreet* 
scented Arab oil, they conclude by cutting tile finger and toe nails ; 
the whole being done with an air of much gravity and importance. 
It is said they have the same characteristic marks here, that they do 
in many other parts of the world ; being great tattlers, newsmon- 
gers, politicians, and story-tellers. The Arabs stain their feet black 
or red, nearly to the ankles ; and the hands and nails of the fingers 
and feet with red henna, as well as a narrow black stripe along the 
outer edge of one or both eyelashes, with antimony, to give a 
more pleasing expression, and i^arkling effect to the ^ye. 

Small fish being very abundant about the ship, the fishermen 
came in great numbers to throw their nets. They are of a circu- 
lar form, and probably fifteen feet in diameter, loaded with small 
weights at the extremities, having a line fastened to the centre to 
draw it up ; when thrown in it smks gradually, the weights being 
light ; when it has sunk to the depth of eight or ten feet, two divers 
jump overboard to drive the fish within the net ; when they vnsh 
to draw it up, the weights close the bottom^ and so secure all that 
are within its meshes. 

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Several diyers were employed to find a awoid which by aa acci* 
dent was lost oyerboazd in eight fathoms/where the ship was an- 
chored ; two of them went down seyeral times, and the gieatesl 
length of time either remained under water, was two minutes and 
five seconds. The ship's bottom being very foul, two large gangs of 
divers were employed to cleanse it, which was thoroughly 
effected with ^scrapers apd rubbers in the course of fouc hours, 
taking off oysters of the size nearly of the palm of the hand, and 
barnacles also of a very large size ; this was done at an expense 
of twenty-fire dollars. It had a very ludicrous effect to see so 
many venerable long beards, white, grizzled and black, thus em- 
ployed, and constantly popping their bare heads and dripimg beards 
out of the water. 

We were mi^ny times in the day amused to see two very large 
fia-back whales fishing alongside, and under the bows and stem 
of the ship. The male has been a daily visiter in this harbour for 
upward of twenty ybars, and goes by the name of ^^ Muscat Tom." 
Formerly the cove was much iafealed with sharks, so that no person 
would venture into the water ; but after he took possession, it was 
freed entirely of these pests, these sea-manduleens, (mandarins,) 
as the Chinese fishermen call them,in derision of the all-grasping 
land mandarins. A few years since he was missing for many days ; 
the sharks ascertained by some means that he was *' not at home'' 
to pay partiadar attention to his visiters and invite them in ; they 
therefore intruded upon his quarters, and not only banqueted upon 
his larder, which was filled with a great variety of fine fish, but 
actually invited and sore pressed some of the land bipeds io follow 
them ; as they are equally as well pleased with flesh as with fish, the 
consequence was, the natives refused to join any other jamb or 
crush of the usurpers, and took a great dislike to aquatic parties. 
Happily at length, bold Tom returned, and every thing was restored 
to its proper order ; for he had been like '' Celebs in search of a 
wife ;" and if he did hot bripg her home under his arm, he brought 
her under his fin, and *' she was a helpmeet unto him ;" and to* 
gether they made a clear sweep of all the pests and incumbrances 
of their household, to the great joy of the land-animals, who again 
paid them frequent visits. 

They have never been known wilfully to injure them ; but occa- 
sionally wb^ they were ia full chase after a school of smaU fry 

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-who were playing truant within their submarine garden, they would 
unluckily upset the water carriage T)f their neighbours ; however, as 
no offence was intended, an apology was deemed wholly unneces 
sary, and the natives acted a very wise part by not shovring a use- 
less resentment to their benefactors. Hourly the happy pair may 
be seen moving along very lovingly together "che^k by jowl,* 
occasioiially sinking to the bottom, but not in search, as some may 
foolishly imagine, for — 

^ WedgM of gold, ipreat. inchon, bMps of peail, 

Inestimable stonec, unvalued jewels, 

All scattered in the bottom of the sea, 

Some hfmg in dead men*s seuDs; and in titoae holee 

Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept 

As 'twere in scorn of efs* :"*- 

but after something more useful ; they are now seen rising vrith 
great swiftness perpendicularly half their length out of water, and 
with wide expanded jaws, catching all that comes within the vortex, 
filling the enormous sacks under their throats full to overflowing ; 
and '' thereby suck they in no small advantage.** Whenever the 
water is too shallow to rise in this manner, they dash forward with 
the rapidity of lightning, making a great breach ; their ponderous 
body being thrown frequently entirely out of water. Many fisher- 
men follow them to catch the fish they kiH, but do not swallow ; 
and by these means obtain during the day a great number. Mus- 
cat Toni and" his wife are never known to sle6p in the harbour, 
having sufScieut sagacity to know, that they might be cast on 
shore by the current, and so caught nappirig. I observed that the 
aame siUy custom prevails here with the fishermen, las in many 
parts of die United States and elsewhere, by spitting on their bait 
to insuTB good luck. During our stay about two thousand Bedvrin 
(Bedouin) Arabs arrived by order of Uie sultan ; they were to be 
embarked on board the ships-of-war at the commencement of the 
' northeast monsoon for Mombas, and other parts in Africa ; they 
are a little darker coloured than the Arabs of Mocha, slender built, 
of good open countenances, and vrith fine sparkling eyes : the hair 
dressed in small-sized spiral curls, and profusely oiled, wearing a 
bandage around the head to confine it. They had (o covering to the 
bead, were naked excepting the waist, and were generally armed 
with qpears. 

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S58 . SMBA80T TO T H B SA8T. P lmH i M l m 

There we a -great number of small villages within a smaU dia- 
tance of Muscat, wherever a tolerably level ^)ot can be found be- 
tween the precipitous rocks. The principal one of six, lying axouid 
the shore of Muttrah harbour, ia the walled town of Muttrahj Which 
is said to contain about eight thousand inhatntants, including a 
colony of BeloocheS) or ScindianSyirom the banks of the renowned 
Indus. They occupy a walled town within the walls of Muttrah, 
having sentries constantly posted at their only gate, which frmts 
the beach. The principal business transacted at Muttrah, is build- 
ing and repairing of vessels. The poorer inhabitants of all these 
towns are very filthy and nearly naked, and not abundantly sup- 
plied with food, even of the meanest kind. They are very civil m 
their demeanour ; bilt by no means deficient in curiosity. It is about 
two miles from Muscat to Muttrah. The passes between the rocks 
being very narrow, and exceedingly difficult, and the heal over- 
powering, the communication is kept up by means of canoety neatly 
painted, having a temporary date*leaf roof, and a mat to sit on. 
Large droves of camels and dromedaries, from the interior, arrive 
daily ,^ laden with wheat, dates, grapes, &c. 

All religions, within the sultan's dominions, are not merely tol- 
erated, but they are protected by his highness ; and there is no ob- 
stacle whatever to prevent the Christian, the Jew, or the Gentile, 
from preaching their peculiar doctrines, or erecting temples. The 
pij&cipal part of his subjects are of the sect of the Mahometans, 
called the Bee-asis : they profess to abstain from the use of tobaoco, 
spirits, and aU fermented liquors, and from every description of 
pomp and magnificence, in their dress, their houses, or their 
mosques. (The latter are very ordinary buildings, being destitute 
of all' ornaments, and without minarets.) They do not grant pre- 
eminence to the descendants of Mahomet, but maintain that all 
who are 'Mussulmans by birth* are eligible for any employment in 
church or state. I was of the opinion, until I became better ac- 
quainted with4hese people, that they were more strict than the other 
sects, both in precept and practice ; but their religious prejudices 
.are broken down, the form only is left^ and away from Muscat, 
or those who are not in the immediate employ of the sultssi, and 
are therefore not in daily attendance upon his p«»on, they use 
tobacco, as well as all intoxicating liquors, freely. This is frankly 
acknowledged by the sultan's own officers. Several snmll craft 

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MHLl B0E8S8 — F&UIT8— TBOBTA^LBS. 859 

axriTed from the Bahrein islaAds, bringing a depntation from the 
principal ruler, requesting assistance and protection against the 
Wahabees or Joassamea, who bad again collected a large army, 
and tllMrtened to take possession of their islands. It was said, 
they were in arrears lEbr three or foiir years' tribute^money, which 
Aey were first commanded to pay. A compromise was atten^ted 
by the deputies ; but it was not settled when we left there. The 
▼essels wore a striped flag, either of red and green or red and 

The sultan possesses a very fine stud of Arab horses. I saw, at 
different times, about two hundred. He is the owner, as I was 
informed by the colonel, or commander of the Bedwin cavalry, of 
all the horses in Muscat, or the neighbouring towns. He was very 
desirous of sending to the President of the United States, two 
Btalliops and two mares of the best blood ; but it was declined, 
because the ship was not of sufficient size to cany them, comforta- 
bly and safely, through the tempestuous weather usually encoun- 
tered from the entrance of the Mozambique channel to the cape of 
Good Hope. The sultan's horses are fed upon lucerne and dates ; 
and it is said that most of the cattle, sheep, and goats, are fed upon 
dates and fish. The coarsest kind of grass, and rushes even, are 
difficult to be obteined at any price, and all the lucerne belongs to 
^ sultan. 

We found die mutton here very excellent , the sheep costing 
two dollars, and goats at various prices : fowls from one dollar to 
two and a half per dozen : bullocks, very fat and very palatable, at 
ten dollars each. But there were no hogs, turkeys, geese, or ducks. 
Fish was very abundant and cheap, and generally good flavoured. 
Both white and purple grapes were supplied us daily, and in pro- 
fusion, by the sultan. The pomegranates were much superior to 
any I have ever seen. There were but few mangoes, the season 
for diem having passed. The oranges wer^ insipid, and tasted 
like the sweet lemon. Limes were very plentifoL The mysk* 
melcns gave out a fine perfume, but they wete very Wasteless. Th^ 
dates, when not too ripe, had the flavour of a very sweet greeii 
chestimt.. Pistachios^ almonds, raisins, and kismisses, (or seedless 
raisins,) weie plenty. Of vegetables, there were the long purple 
eg^Iant, potato^, onions, okra, and parsley. The date molasses 
was very good; wheat sold for one dollar and a quarter for one 

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860 BMBABST TO TSB SAST. W i Hu 1 * 

Inindied Engtish pouiuls ; and a French bng was lading widi it 
and jackS) for the Mauritius. The water, which supplies the dap- 
ping and the principal part of the inhabitants^ is drawn fronei a rerj 
deep well outside the walls of Muscat, by a bttffido^upan inclined 
planey and then broug^M in skins, on men's badu, to the landing. 

The sole object of our tisit to Muscat, was to effect a commer- 
cial treaty with his highness, Syed Syeed bin Sultan, and to obtaia 
a reduotien of the duties and port*cbarges, heretofore paid on our 
commerce, so as to place it upon a footing with the most faronred 
nations. The sultan appointed an audience in the afternoon of the 
day subsequent to our arrival. I landed, in company with Captain 
Geisinger and Lieutenant-Commandant Shields, of the Boxer. We 
found the sultan, with his eldest son the goremor of Burba, and 
ten gentlemen, composing his divan or council, sitting in the ve- 
randa, facing the harbour. The governor and the counsellors were 
fitting on chairs-facing each other, and the st^tan was seated about 
ten <k twelve feet from them in a comer. He immediately arose, 
on our entrance, and walked to the edge of the raised floor, between 
the courtiers, and received us very graciously, shaking us by the 
band. Here was to be seen no abasing crawlmg, and couch- 
ing, and ** knocking head,** like a parcel of slaves ; but all was 
nanTy, and every one stood onr his feet. The usual congratu- 
latory compliments and inquiries were made ; and coffee and sher- 
bet were introduced. I was seated near to, and <m the right hand 
of his highness ; and we entered into a private conversation, throngh 
the interpreter, Captain Calfaun, relative to the object of Ae mis* 
sion, (after having presented my credentials.) The sultan at once 
acceded to my wishes, by admitting our commerce into his ports 
upon tlie same terms of his most favoured firiends, the British, to 
wit : by paying a duty of five per cent, on the cargo bindtdy and 
free from every other charge whatever, either on imports or ex- 
ports, or even the charge of pilotage. When the fifth article of the 
proposed treaty was read, which related to shipwrecked seamen, 
he at once objected to that part of it relating to a remutterati<m for 
expenses, which would be necessarily incmred in supporting and 
forwarding them to the United States, and said, the article he 
wished so altered as to make it incumbent upon him to protect, 
maintain, and return them to their own country, firee of every 
charge. He remarked, that it would be contnury to the usage of 

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Arabs, aod to the rights of hospitality, which havd^ ever been prac- 
tised among Ihem ; and this clause was also inserted, at his request. 
The sultan is of a mild and peaceable demeanour, of unquestion- 
able bravery, as was evinced during the Wahabee war, where he 
was seyerely wounded in endeavouring to ssve an English artUlery-* 
man. He is a strict lover of justice, possessing a humane dis* 
position, and greatly beloved by hie subjects. He possesses just 
and libera] views in regard to ccmunerce, not only throwing 90 
obstacles* in the way to impede its advancement, but encouraging 
foreigners as well as his own subjects. 

The sultan of Muscat is a very poweriiil prince ; he possesses a 
more efficient naval force than all the native princes combined from 
the cape of Good Hope to Japan. His resources are more than 
adequate to bis wants : they are derived from commerce, owning 
himself a great number of merchant vessels : from duties on for- 
eign merchandise, and from tribute-money, and presents received 
from various princes, all of which produce a large sum : a small tithe 
also is taken on wheat and dates, but more on houses or lands. 

His possessions in Africa, stretch from cape Delgado to cape 
Guardafui : and from cape Aden in Arabia, to Ras el Hand, and 
from Ras el Haud they extend along the northern coast of Arabia, 
(or the coast Aman) to the entrance of the Persian gulf: and he 
claims also all the seacoast and islands within the Persian gulf, 
including the Bahrein islands, and pearl-fishery contiguous to 
them, with the northern part of the gulf as low down as Seindy. 
It is true that only a small part of this immense territory is garri- 
soned by his troops, but all is tributary to him. 

In Africa, he owns the ports of Monghow, or Mongallow, Lyndy, 
Quiloa, (Keelwah,) Melinda, Lamo, Patta, Brava, Magadosha, 
(alias Magadshe,) and the valuable islands of Monfeea or Mafeea, 
Zanzibar, Pemba, Socotra, alias Socotera,'&c., &c. 

From Africa are exported, gun^-copal, aloes, gum-arabic, columbo** 
root, and a great variety of other drugs. Ivory, tortoise-shell, rhino^ 
ceros boms, hides, beeswax, cocoa-nut oil, rice, millett, ghee, &c. 

The exports from Muscat are wheat, dates, horses, raisms, salt, 

dried fish, and a great variety of dr^gs, &c., &c. Muscat, being 

the key to the Persian gulf is a place of great resort in the winter 

months, for vessels from the Persian gulf and the western parts of 



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The productions of Africa, of the Red sea, the coast of Arabia, 
and the countries bordering on the Persian gu1f,may be had4here. 

Their vessels trade not only to the countries named, but also to 
Guzzerat, Surat, Demaun, Bombay^ Bay of Bengal, Ceylon, Su- 
matra, Java, the Mauritius, the Comoro islands, to Madagascar, 
and the Portuguese possessions in East Africa ; bringing Indian, 
African, and European articleift. 

The number of vessek employed on these voyages I was unable 
to ascertain with any degree of exactness : but no number named 
was less than two thousand; of this a very large proportion are 
small craft, having but a few ships and brigs. The naval force of 
the sultan is very respectable in point of numbers, and they are 
daily becoming better skip sailors. 

The officers practise the lunar observations, and possess excel* 
lent chronometers. His force is sufficient to give him entire con- 
trol over all the ports in East Africa, the Red sea, the coast of 
Abyssinia, and the Persian gulf. He has an abundance of sailors 
and although he has but a small number of regular troops, yet he 
can command any number of Bedouin (Bedwin) Arabs he may 
want, by furnishing them with provisions and clothing, This force 
consists of between seventy and eighty sail of vessels, carrying 
£rom four to seventy-four guns. I have added a statement which 
shows the names of his largest vessels, with the names of some of 
tbe smaller classes : the rate of each : where huilt, and where sta- 
tioned in the month of October last, as given by Capt Seydiia 
Calfaun,the sultan's English interpreter and translator, and a naval 

Previous to the conclusion of the treaty, American vessels paid 
generally seven and a half pet cent, upon imports, and seven and a 
half per cent, upon exports, with anchorage money «ad presents. 
The governor of the out ports claimed the right of pre-emption in 
both cases, and they resorted to the most nefarious practices to 
accumulate wealth. 

The commerce of the United States, under the treaty, is entirely 
freed from all inconvenient restrictions, and pays but one charge, 
namely five per cent, on all merchandise landed, and it is freed 
from the charge of pilotage, as every port has pilots which axe 
kept in pay by the sultan. 

The currency of Muscat differs materially from that of the Per* 

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8ian gulf, or Africa; it is as follows, viz. : twenty gass-rauz-au2 
or rauhzee, make gne mamoody ; one hundred and forty-two pise 
or pesos, make one Spanish dollar ; but it varies from one hundred 
and twenty to one hundred and fifty ; * three and a quarter Persian 
rupees make one Spamish dollar at present; two and a quarter 
Bombay rupees, (less five pise,) one Spanish dollar ; two and a quar- 
ter Surat rupees, (less five pise,) one Spanish dollar. 

The Spanish doublon is worth from fourteen to sixteen dollars 
according to weight, but more than fifteen dollars is readily obtained. 

The weights of Muscat are as follows, viz. : twenty-four rials 
make one maund; the customohonse maund is eight and three 
fourths pounds ; the bazar-maund is eight, eight and a fourth, and 
eight and a half pounds. 

The following exhibits a StaUmmU of the Naval Force of ike Sultan of Muaeat^ show- 
ing the names of his largest vessels^ with some of the smaller classes — the rates of 
each ; where kuilt^ and where stationed in the month of October, 1833. 


Bombay, ZuiBibBr.. 

Bombay, Zanzibar. 

Ramgoon, Muscat 

Domanxi, Mascat. 

Coebii^ Calcutta. 

Mttscat, Maacat 

Codun, Muscat 

Bombay, Muscat 

Bcmaan, Bombay. 

Muscat, Muscat 

Bomb^, Mascat 

Cochin, ' Muscat 

Malabar coast, Zanzibar. 

Muscat, Muscat. 

Bombay, Bombay. 
Also My bagbBfaw canymg from eight to eighteen gone, and ten balits caoying from 
four to six guns. The baghela is a one-roasted vessel, from two hundred to three ho»- 
dred tons. The balit is also a one-masted Tessel, from one to two hundred tMis. Part 

of his nBTsl force was employed in convoying veisels up the Persian guU^ i 
Africa, dec., dec. 




















Soliihan Shah* 


Curfew, (brig,) 


Psyche, (brig.) 


Tage, (yacht,) 






• The Taloe of a Spanish dollar in this copper coin is styled a " black mamoody.** 
The abovenamed copper coin is the quarter Ana of the British East India Company ; 
eleven and a half ** white mamoodies*' constitnte one Spanisli dollar, (this is innriablB.) 
It IB a aomioil money or money of aoeomit 

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-Ona Toyage from Muscat to l^zambique was not maxked by 
any particular occurrence, excepting the death of a very young and 
yaluable officer. The southwest monsoon haying ended, we were 
in daily expectation of the advent of the northeast monsoon; but 
on the morning of the seventh of October, without waiting for a 
change of wind, as we T^ere ready for sea, we weired anchor 
again, in company with our consort, depending mostly upgn the 
assistance of the current : for there was scarcely ^' a breath, the 
blue ware to curl." As soon as the anchor was '' apeek,'' and the 
topsails sheeted home and hoisted up, eighteen guns were fired, 
as a parting salute to the hospitable sultan, (sooltaun,) which was 
returned with twenty-one. Not wishing to be behind-hand ^l an 
act of courtesy, Arce more were fired. The eflFect produced by 
the echo, among the serrated and cavernous rocks and mountains 
about the cove of Muscat, and the neighbouring hills, was surpas* 
singly fine ; loud, distinct, and repeated charges were heard, ap • 
parently, for the space of several minutes, until the reverberations 
died away, in faint echoes, among the distant hills in the south* 
east, west, and northwestern quarters. The winds were very 
light, from the southward and eastward, the first part of the pas* 
sage, until we arrived in about &^ south, when it changed gradually 
to the northward and eastward, and continued so until we arrived 
at Mozambique. We had abundance of rain about the equator, 
accompanied by light squalls and calms; the currents setting 
generally to the southward and westward ; they «l8o set to the 
soDlbward and eastward, and to the northward and eastward, duf 

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west, and to the northwest. A short distance to the northrwaid and 
eastward of the island of Socotra, (Socotera,) it set in for three 
successive days, about 70^ west, eighty-six miies« and for the 
seven successive days to the southward and westward, two hun- 
dred and sixty-five miles. The particulars of each day, I omit, as 
it can only interest the navigator ; but what I have stated, will 
serve to show the absolute necessity of having firstrate chronom- 
eters, or the lutiar observations carefully attended to ; and tiever 
omitted to be taken when practicable. On our passage through 
the channel, we entered the small port Quintangony, seeing the 
Portuguese flag flying on a fort, mistaking it for Mozambique, as 
the bearings answered to its situation, and the table-land being 
north of it. We weighed anchor forthwith, and in two hours 
afterward, on the afternoon of the seventh oi November, we dis- 
covered the island of St. George, which has a flag-staff and a smaU 
battery, and to the southward of it, the island of St. Jago ; and at 
the same time the island of Mozambique, lying to the westward, 
distant about three miles, with its formidable castle and its neat 
white houses, appeared in riew. 

Before the sun had sunk behind the forest of palm-trees, which 
clothe the noainland of Africa, we found ourselves snugly at anchor, 
in a fine harbour, surrounded by twenty or thirty coasting craft, 
and several large Brazilian and Lisbon vessels. The town pre- 
sented the most respectable and pleasing appearance ; our cared 
were lulled to rest, for the present, being most grateful to the Giver 
of all good, for having conducted us thus far in safety, though 
sickness and sorrow, anxiety and death, had caused sad havoc 
among us— making the ocean the grave and the winding-sheet of 
many a brave and worthy heart, although clothed with a rough ex- 
terior — ^leaving a sad chasm among companions and friends, among 
parents and wives, and poor fatherless children. The last death 
which took place among us, was that of a most worthy and excel- 
lent young man, Midshipman Lewis H. Roumfert of Mount HoNy, 
Pennsylvania. Had he lived, he would have been an ornament to 
his profession, and a most useful member of society; but God 
willed it otherwise, and, therefore, we ought not to complain. A 
short distance to the eastward of the island of Socotra, in the In- 
dian ocean, he was laid in his watery grave. The solenm and 
sublime service of the Protestant Episcopal church was read by 

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our worthy surgeon, Dr. Ticknor ; the main-topsail being aback, 
and the colours hoisted half-mast. The topsails being fiUed again^ 
we left him, poor fellow, sinking down into an earthless grave : 

" Down, down th^oagb, wtters iathomleM," 

there to remain, until the last trump shall sound, and the sea shall 
disgorge its mighty dead. 

We had scarcely dropped anchor, before an official visit was 
made by a lieutenant. A salute was fired in the morning, which 
was returned by an equal number of guns from the castle. Tho 
commandant of the castle, Juan Alexander de Almedia, and the 
acting-governor, was desirous of receiving us at the fort with mili- 
tary honours, and a message was sent to that effect, but which was 
declined ; and at noon we landed, and were received by the com- 
mandant at the grand entrance, with a double file of soldiers with 
'• present arms," This noble fort was built by Juan de Castro,' in 
151S, and it is certainly, for the most part, in a fine state of pres- 
ervation. It is called Santo Sebastiano, and it appears capable of 
resisting any force which probably will ever be sent against it, 
notwithstanding the honeycombed stifte of many of the iron can- 
non, and the very weak state of the garrison. It is of a quadran«» 
gular fonn, having an extensive bomb-proof citadel, capable of pro- 
tecting all the inhabitants of the town, in case of a siege, with: 
sufficient magazines for munitions of war and provisions. 

An immense cistern stands in the middle of the parade, which 
is filled by the annual rains. The inhabitants are supplied from 
this cistern, whenever the rainy season fails, as well as the ship- 
ping; the latter being obliged to pay one dollar per cask. Ships- 
of-war, of all nations, are furnished from it gratis. Our Uttle 
squadron was supplied from it by means of pipes, made of con^ 
demned iron guns, which lead outside the gate. The fort and 
two water-batteries adjoining it, on the extreme point, mount 
one hundred and thirty guns, of all calibers, of brass and iron, in. 
all stages of decay, and appsurently of all ages, excepting the 
modern. Some of the large brass ones are highly ornamented, and 
of a handsome mould. Two of the heaviest enfilade tlie entrance, 
and throw each a hundred and five pounds of stone shot, which I 
should only have expected to meet with at the Dardanelles. . The. 

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t68 SMBA88T TO TME EAST. {NovwnlMi^ 

oldest chapel on the island, fronts the grand parade. It is now in 
ft state of dilapidation,, being rent through the centre oi the stone 
roof by an earthquake. A small new chapel has been built outside 
the walls, within a water battery, on the northern side. 

In consequence of the death of the geTcmer, the goTemment is 
ngw administered by a junta, consisting of the civil, ecclesiastical, 
and military orders. 

Joaquim Xavier Dinir Costa is the acting-goyemor, although 
second in the council. Trei Antonio da Maia, bishop, being the 
^t member, and Colonel Francisco Heririquer Ferrad, being the 
third. We visited the acting-governor, who oflFered every assistance 
in his power, and sent us very generously, out of a scanty supply, 
as well as the commandant, fruit, vegetables, dec. 

A council, consisting of such heterogenous materials, never did 
and never will amalgamate well together. It is like an attempt to 
combine vinegar with oil, which has never yet been effected, and 
so it was with these gentlemen ;no two could ever agree upon any 
essential point, excepting always, to find '^ ways and means'^ to ob- 
tain their salaries. I omitted to state, that, in examining the maga- 
sines within the castle, they showed us a great number of flying- 
aitillery, &c; , Out curiosity was- highly gratified by the sight of 
some ancient ardour, consisting of helmets, <;nriases, and lances, 
which were deposited there in bygone days, soon after the fort was 
built, being brought by Juan de Castro from Portugal. There are 
two fortifications built at the other extremity of the island, to pro- 
tect the southern and western passages. The officers in these forts 
are Canaveens, or natives of Goa and of East Afirica, bom of Por- 
tuguese parents, who, in the lapse of several generations, have be- 
come black, although they have no wool or negto features. A 
more deadly affront pould not be offered them than to say they are 
not white. In the castle, they are from Portugal ahd Brazil. The 
island has a coral foundation, and is covered with white sand. It 
18 about a mile and a half in length, tod averages less than batf a 
mile in width ; it is almost wholly unproductive of vegetation : the 
inhabitants depending on Cabaceira and Mesuril, on the main, for 
their daily supplies of fruits, and vegetables, and meat. 

The harbour abounds with fish ; but they are nearly destitute of 
boats, (although not from the want of wood or workmen.) Not a 
•ingle fish was offered us for sale, although the inhabitants have 

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p«o DUCTS. 869 

become wretchedly poor, tad are OTerbOideBed with davee 
whose present low rate, from three to eight doBars, and often al 
half the price I name, holds out a temptation to purchase ; although 
they have bat a scanty meal for themselves, and yet, a quarter of 
a mile from their doors, the waters swarm with food. Such is the 
curse of the indolent habits produced by slavery. But as a hap^ 
pier day is dawning on them slowly, agriculture is toking placo 
c£ this vile traffic. It is now said, that coffee, cotton, sugar, dcc^ 
may be cultivated from Da Lagoa bay to cape Delgado, with the 
utmost facility ; and that teiafs of thousands of cattle, and sheep, and 
goats^ may be raised, where the forest occupies the ground, and 
the wild beasts roam at large. Instead of being dependant- upon 
foreign supplies for almost their daily fdod, they may become ez« 
porters to an enormous amount, in the various products of the forest, 
the field, the ocean ; in timber, in ivory, in cotton and coffee, sugar^ 
drugs, salt, rice. Cocoa-nut oil might be made in any quantity 
along their coast, yet not a gallon is exported. Already the bene- 
ficial efforts made, begin to develop themselves, in the increased 
quantity of various articles from the interior, more particularly in 
elephant^s tusks, which have amounted this year to upward of ten 
thousand Portuguese arrobas, equal to four hundred and thirty 
thousand pounds ; besides the ivory from hippopotami, which is 
in great abundance. A large proportion of the ivory from elephants^ 
comes from the country of the Majonas, at a distance of about fif^ 
days journey inland. Since slavery has been abolished, the natives 
come to the seacoast with little fear of being kidnapped. Theif 
confidence is daily gaining ground ; and a brisk and praiseworthy 
trade will take the place of villany and barbarity. I observed pre* 
viously that they were almost dependant upon foreign supplies for 
the necessaries of life. It is a feet, that a fortnight previous to 
our arrival, not a pound of flour, wheaten bread, coffee, sugar, salted 
beef or pork, or a bottle of wine or foreign - spirits, could be^pnr- 
chased in the place ; but the very fortunate arrival of several Bra* 
silian and Lisbon vessels, laden with every variety of articles (pul 
up in small packages,) relieved them from great distress. 

The landing place is in front of the palace square, having the 
government-house and a chureh adjoining, on one side, and tho 
cusUmi-house on the other. This last is a building, which reflects 
great credit upon the place, being neat, commodious, and sub* 


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870 EMBAB8T TO THS BAST. Cli iiii l M , 

atantial. The pier is built on arches of faced stone, and extends 
to low-water mark, and is, at all times, an excellent laixiing. The 
streets are narrow, but the principal ones are cfaunamed on the 
sides, and some entirely, where the banyans (the principal traders) 
inhabit. Many of the houses are lofty and flat-roitfed; bat the 
larger portion of them are only one* story. They show thai the 
inhabitants were once opulent, but are now faist sinking into poyeity 
and distress. The moral and religious character of the people is 
at the lowest ebb possAle.^ It wants the besom of destruction to 
pass over the landj to clean out this Augean stable firom the filth 
and pollution which characterize this modem Sodom, giving the 
innocent a warning, which shall be heard in a voice of thunder. 
And such is the character of the people, in the present day gen- 
erally, fix>m Portugal and Macao. The colony in East Airica 
has been entirely neglected by the parent-country for the last three 
years, owing to its distressed situation, being wholly unproductive 
to the crown of. Portugal. Hundreds of unhappy exiles are drag- 
ging out a miserable existence in this most destructive clinaate, 
banished for supposed political offences, without means to live, ex* 
cepting by a precarious and scanty subsistence, picked up from day 
today; separated from their distressed families, denied the soli- 
tary comfort of writing, to inform them they are still draggii^ out 
a lengthening chain, ot receiving a line from them, if, by chance^ 
they ascertain where they are to be found ; and as if the diabolical 
malice of the government knew no bounds, they are banished from 
the seacoast to the interior, to prevent their e8cape,ar engaging in 
insurrections. I was informed that there are innumerable instances 
of persons being taken from their beds at midnight, in Lisbon and 
elsewhere, hurried on shipboard, and sent to the Portuguese pos- 
sessions, in East and West Africa, without a form of trial, or kiiow^ 
ing any cause for this outrage on justice and humanity. Many 
hundreds have died on the passage from sickness, brought on by 
distress of mind ; others have been obliged to beg their daily 
bread, and finally died of starvation ; while hundreds of others have 
fallen victims to a destructive climate. 

A gentleman, now residing at Mozambique, told me, that he and 
bis brother were taken from their beds at midnight, without being 
suffered to bold any C(»nmunication with their fiunilies, with 
nothing but their clothes on their ^icks, and hurried on boaid two 

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different yessels, x>ne to West Africa, to Benguela, and the other to 
East Africa, to Mozambique ; and to make it the more heart- 
rrading, all near relations were separated in this manner. We 
heard similar distressing accounts, when at the Cape de Terd 
islands and at Macao. The bitter curses which have ascended 
^ Heaven, against the Braganza family, for the last three hundred 
years, from the exiles of Portugal, to South America, Africa, and 
India^ from aged parents, heart-broken wives, and fatherless chil- 
dren, will shortly sweep from the earth this destructive scourge, 
and leave on record but a small part of the vile doings of the most 
heartless, worthless, lascivious, and diabolical , monarchy, which 
ever disgraced die face of the earth. When this place was first 
visited by Vasco de Gama, in the latter part of the fourteenth 
century, th^ crescent was flying instead of the cross, and he was 
vvelcomed by the Arabs with music and dancing. But the attempt 
to plant, rather too abruptly, the standard of our holy religion, was 
received with disgust ; and the followers of the prophet flew to 
aims, but were , discomfited by their nH>re warUke foes. In fact» 
they 'at length submitted to the conquerors, who then made great 
exactions of provisions and of every thing else, of which they stood 
in need. It is stated, that at that time, every part of the country, 
eapable of cultivation, was well attended to ; that their flocks and 
herds were peacefully grazing upon the plains; that the slave- 
tnde had basely a name ; and that the people were trading to van* 
ous parts of the coast, to Zofar, or Zofal, the Sofala of modera 
days-'-ftupposed by some to be the land of gold — ^the Ophir of 
King Solomon, to the Red and to the Erythrean sea, dr Per- 
sian gulf. 

From the time the Portuguese took possession of it, till the sup- 
pression of the slave-trade, a short time -since, peace was banished 
from the land. The Mocouas, their immediate neighbours, were 
seized and sold, like beasts of the forest ; the lands were made des- 
olate, the palm, the mango, the casheu, (alia acajou,) soon covered 

. the fields ; and the wild elephants, the hippopotami, the rhino« 
ceros, and the tiger, were to be seen roaming at lai^, as ibey are 
at this day, where peace, and happiness, and contentment had 
taken up liieir abode. The cross,, the emblem of our holy t»Iigioii» 
instead of proving a blessing, carrying with it, as it does, when 

^ duly propagated, a balmy influence, and bearing healing on its 

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wings, has proved calamitous in its tendency. It has blasted die 
hopes of millions, confirmed the superstition of idolaters, and fixed 
more deeply the rooted prejudices of the Moslem. Thus die 
cross has, unfortunately, pitived in the Brazil, in East and West 
Africa, in Arabia, in the East Indies, in China, and Japan ; so that 
die name of Christian has become a by-word and a curse, where* 
ever its doctrines have been propagated by the Portuguese or 
Spaniards. Every engine, which iMrutal force could apply, has 
been used widiout the slightest compunction. Humanity appeaa 
to have had no place in their adamantine breasts > and the mild and 
peaceful doctrines, expressly laid dov^ by our Saviour, have nev«r 
been inculcated ; but fire and the sword, assisted by a detestable 
and horrible inquisition, have been preferred in their place, and op- 
pvessioUy frauds and crudty have bewft resorted to in every shape, 
to answer the most nefarious purposes of the government and its 
xeligion, and the sordid views of unprincipled individuals. Whai 
Bight not have been the state of things, if the liberal views of the 
Ibunder of the Roman Catholic reUgion, in Marykad, had beea 
propagated^ and they had been blessed with a government founded 
en just and equitable principles ! Look at Maryland, and the Ro* 
Ban Catholic rehgion, as it exists in our own blessed country, and 
behold die contrast ! I! Lodk at our pditicat institutions, and the 
happy and prosperous situation of a setdement, begun upward of 
one himdred years after the Portuguese took possession of their 
present misetable colonies, by a noble, but persecuted bfmd of 
English setders — and see the present situation of Portugal and its 
€<mquests. With the exception of Brazil, which has just slipped 
her leading strings, what can be more wretched ? To prove the 
unappeasable hostility of the nations, in East Africa, towards dieix 
<^ipre8sors,and every one who wears straight Aotr, it is a feet weH 
known by all who are- well acquainted with the state of things 
here, and substantiated by the Portuguese themselves, that tb^ 
dare not go half a dosen miles into the country, widiout an armed 
guard. And this is the state of things, from Da Lagoa bay (alias 
liorenzo Marques) to cape Delgado, after having had possessioR 
ef the coast upward of three hundred years ; and so it iaatBis*^ 
sao. Saint Paul de Loando, Benguela, dec, in West Africa. The 
Portuguese, under a liberal form of government,^ unshackled by a 
Mte religion^ known to beoorrupt beyond measure, would {urore 

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themselres to be, as they once were, a, noble people, zealous in all 
good works. 

As it regards the first circumnavigator of the cape of Good Hope 
and the discoverer of South and East Africa, the world seems wil- 
ling to award the whole merit of the discovery to Yasco de Gama, 
and he is held forth in bold relief, at the expense of others, who 
are entitled at least to a small share of it. In looking into ancient 
history, there is much light shed upcm' it. According to Herodo- 
tus, it seems that one of the most illustrious of native Egyptian 
kings, " actuated by the spirit of a great man, which raised him su- 
perior to the age in which he lived, eagerly sought the solution of 
the grand mystery, that involved the form and termination of 
Africa.** In furtherance of this noble project and to ensure it suc- 
cess if practicable, he employed the boldest of navigators in those 
days, to wH, certain Phenicians. Having obtained vessels which were 
thought suitable for the enterprise, they proceeded down the Red 
sea and boldly launched out into the Indian ocean, and after a voyage 
of three years, they made the complete circuit of the continent^ 
passing through the Pillars of Hercules (straits of Gibraltar) and 
up the Mediteranean to Egypt. - 

They stated that in passing the most southern coast of Africa,. 
tbey were surprised by observing the sun on their right handy or 
to the nordi of them, a statemeht which the historian rejected as 
impossible. This very circumstance, which threw an air of dis- 
cmlit over the whole transaction, was the strongest proof that 
oodld be adduced in confirmation of what is known to every one 
in the present day, that to the south of the equator this must neces- 
sarily have taken place. — Some writers have deemed it impossible 
fnr other reasons, because of the smallness and weakness of their 
vessels— ^but as we see thousands of small craft, in the China, 
Java, Red and Arabian seas, and from cape .Guardafui to Da 
Lagoa bay, of not more than fifteen to twenty tons burden and 
some even less, open amidships, or having merely a palmleaf- 
covering, towed tc^ther with cokx spun-yam the seams being 
calked vnth the same stuff and chunamed outside, the rudders 
being tied on, where we use braces and pintles, which are always 
unshipped in port, and secured again by the crew who are expert 
iifen — without even pumps, the water being bailed tip amidships 
and pouxed into a spout which leads from side to side — ^the wonder 

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S74 BMBABST TO THS lAST. DforairiM^ 

rather ceases, aiid it is certainly a strong and convincing proof that 
the craft of the Phenician navigators was no obstacle to the enter* 
prise. Added to this, all 3mall vessels as well as jnore large ones 
in the seas I have named, always keep in short and. never quit it 
unless from necessity — and furtkermore, by far the greater part 
do not use compasses. And if furrier confirmation is wanted, look 
at the numerous enterprises projected by the Malegashes (people 
of Madagascar) a few years since, against the Comoro islands and 
various places in Africa, against the Portuguese settlement and 
those of the sultan of .Muscat, in open canoes^ without compass or 
sails, being propelled by paddles and carrying sometimes upward 
of six thousand warriors. This shows the practicability of ex- 
ploring the ' coast even io more unsafe vessels, and of a much 
smaller description, for the Malegashes were nebessarily out sight 
of land from two to three days occasionally, as the distance from 
Grand Comoro to the Querimba islands on the main, where they 
l^ded several times, is not less than one hundred and thirty-five 
miles. Look at the hardy sons of New England also, navigating 
the Atlantic ocean on vessels of thirty or forty tons, visiting every 
creek and nook in the Falkland islands. South Shetland and Cape 
Horn, in search of seals. Furthermore, there was the voyage of 
Pedro de Cavalho, and be transmitted hi& description to Portugal. 

Now if the account of Herodotus is untrue, still Diaz's discovery 
of the cape and Cavalho'a voyage to SofFala, left de Gama but the 
short distance of one thousand two hundied miles to expl<»e, and 
therefore he is only entitled to a small share of the credit which 
threw so much lustre on the Portuguese name, in effecting a pas* 
sage by sea to the East Indies, .which was previously performed 
by a most circuitous and tedious route by land and by water; f(Mr 
de Gama,on his arrival at Quilmany, obtained pilots' to Mozambique, 
and from thence onward all obstructions were removed. 

All that vast tract of country lying between the cape of Good 
Hope and cape Guardafui,may now be said to be parceled out 
among three nations. The English are gradually or rather rapidly 
settling that whole tract of country lying between the cape district 
(cape of Good Hope) and Da Lagoa bay. There is a considerabb 
settlement at Fish river, about six hundred miles east of the cape, 
and there is a small one begun at port Natal, about two hundnd 
and seventy miles to the north and eastward of it,on the ootst oC 

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tm,} DBPAETURE FROM M O Z A M B I Q U B . 375 

Natal, which is about the same distance to Da Lagoa bay, still 
further to the eastward;and thiey claim part of Da Lagoa bay by 
gift from a negro king, Mayetta, the sovereign of Temba. This 
brings them to the borders of the Portuguese settlement^. The 
Portuguese claim from Da Lagoa bay to the cape Delgado, lying 
m about 10^ south. From the latter cape to cape Gus^afui, it i» 
claimed (with all the islands adjacent to the coast) by the sultan 
of Muscat. 

The exports from Mozambique do not exceed half a million of 
dollars, (since the suppression of the slave-trade.) These ccmsist 
in elephant and . hippopotaiqus ivory, gold 4iust, tortoise-shell, am- 
bergris, columbo-root, drugs, cowries, rhinoceros-horns, and hides, 
&c., &c. This is certainly a very meager account of the value, 
of its exports, to which ,may be added, pearls of a superior 
quality, there being an abundance about the Bazaruto islands; 
but its resources are yet to be developed, and 1 have stated pre- 
viously of what they may consist, provided the government will 
throw, off all shackles which embarrass trade, and have a duty not 
exceeding that which is now imposed by the sultan of Muscat, to 
wit : a duty of five per ceAt. only, on goods landed and sold, with- 
out any other charge whatever. If this is not done, all trade among 
foreigners must necessarily proceed to .the sultan's dominions, in 
East Africa. The duties and exactions on foreign commerce are 
so exorbitant, but more particularly on the American trade, that 
our flag has almost entirely deserted all the Portuguese ports inr 
West as well as in East Africa. The Americans pay twenty-four 
per cent, and the English fifteen, on imports, exclusive of an al« 
most endless number of fees, besides export duties. 

Imports consist of coarse cotton goods, white, brown, blue, and 
striped, as well as some fine cottons, and a small quantity of light 
quality woollen cloth, principally blue, suitable for the army. Pow« 
der, arms, beads, sugar, tea, coffee, wine, spirits, &c.; in fact, 
every article useful to eat, or to drink, or to clothe themselves. 

Our passage from Mozambique to Table bay, was marked with 
storms and tempests, violent and sudden gales, accompanied vrith 
a mountainous sea. After passing the dangerous reef of rocks, 
called the Bassas de India, in the southern part of the Mozam- 
bique channel, we were assailed by one gale, with the rapidity of 
lif^tning, in the latitude twenty-eight, and longitude thirty-four east« 

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taking the ship ^flat-abacV^ iBstantaneoaslyy and placing us in a 
most dangerous and critical situation. It was a doubtful case, for 
•ome minutes, whether she would not overset, or go down stem 
foremost. But ^ He who holds the winds in his power, the 
waters in the hoQow of his hand," mercifully decreed that we 
should once more see the living objects of our affections, and be 
restored in safety to our beloved country — ^ to the land of the 
brave, and the home of the free ;** for the ship's head *^ payed €ff^ 
and she was got before the wind, all sail being taken in, and drove 
before this furious hurricane for the space of eight hours, under 
hare polesy the captain not daring to loosen an inch of canvass to the 
tempest during that time. The first three or four hours, she went 
at the rate of twelve miles per hour> and when her rate had di* 
minished to about eight knots, having had, in the meantime, every 
article that would lessen the weight on the spar and gun-decks, 
placed in the hold and on the berth-deck, she was ^' bote to." It 
would have been done' in the commencement of the gale, but 
as the ship was very light, and the stock of provisions nearly 
expended, it was apprehended, in bringing her ^ to tjhe wind," she 
would overset, when all would inevitably have perished. We 
touched on the northeastern edge of bank Agulhas, for the purpose 
of taking advantage of the strong southerly and westerly curxent, 
and we were by no means disappointed, for the ship was set to the 
extraordinary distance of one hundred and twenty-^three miles, in 
twenty-four hours, south, 71^ west, between the twenty-sixth and 
twenty-seventh of November, frx)m the latitude of 32^ 36% and 
longitude 25^ 16^, to the latitude of 35^ 21' and longitude 23<^ 8"; 
but it was accompanied by a tremendous wrecking sea. As we 
had three excellent chronometers, and made the land at daybreak 
the following monung, about the bay of St. Sebastian, we ascer- 
tained, both then and afterward, there was no error ; and yet, on 
the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth, the current was very feeble* 
not exceeding thirteen miles in the two days. On the thirtieth, 
we made the most southern land of Africa, being cape Agulhas. 
It is a low flat point, the sea always breaking over it. We saw, 
in the course of the day, cape Hanglip^ and the cape of Good Hope 
also, which bound the entrance into False bay. Heavy gales of 
wind, between west and northwest, continued until the fourth of 
December* when we made Table mount, and stood into the bav. ift 

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a Tiolent southeast gale. We then saw, for the first time, the phe- 
nomenon of the cloud-capped mount, which is always seen when 
the wind is from that quarter. One looks with astonishment, at 
what seems always to be the same cloud, sideling along from east 
to west, apparently remaining stationary, without being instantly 
dispersed by the fiirious tempest ; but Doctor Amott thus accouiits 
for the singular beauty and density of the clouds, which frequently 
envelop tne mount, and the cause of its creation and final disper- 
sion : " The reason of the phenomenon is, that the air, constituting 
the wind firom the northeast, having passed over the vast southern 
ocean, c<»ne8 charged with as much invisible moisture as the tem- 
perature can sustain. In rising up the side of the mountain, it is 
rising in the atmosphere, and is therefore graduafly escaping firom 
a part of the former pressure ; and on attaining the summit, it has 
dilated so much, and has consequently become so much colder, 
that it lets go part of its moisture : and it no sooner falls over the 
edge of the mountain and again descends in the atmosphere tS 
where it is pressed, and condensed and heated as before, than it is 
re-dissolved and disappears : the magnificent apparition dwelling 
only on the mountain-top." 

The ship came to anchor, about one mile firom the landing, soon 
after sunrise, and a beautiful home scene was presented to our view. 
The town is on a sloping plane, and rises gradually to the foot of 
the celebrated Table mountain^ a distance of about three miles, the 
height of this precipitous mountain being three thousand six hun* 
dred feet. The town is seen stretching ^ut also on the right to- 
wards the Lion's Head, which is at an elevation of two thousand 
eight hundred feet, and again to the extreme. right towards the 
Lion's Rump, which is at an elevation of one thousand one hun- 
dred and forty feet. Around the base of this hill, which is called 
Green Point, are a great many nlsat villas and cottages. On this 
point stands the light-house, containing two excellent lights on the 
same level. On the left againi, farmhouses are scattered about the 
base of the Devil's Peak, which is three thousand three hundred 
feet high ; the road leading to Wynberg is seen winding round it. 
The vine-fields were beautifully verdant, the grape just beginning 
to fill out, and the fruit and ornamental trees appeared abun- 
dant in the city and about the cottages ; but still the general ap- 
pearance of the country was far firom being verdant, and the few 


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trees called the protea dispersed a1>out the elevated and uncoltiTa- 
ted parts of the land, disappoint an American eye, being deficient 
m noble forest-trees. The violent southeast gale of the previous 
da]r having subsided, ushered fDrth a day redolent with sweets to 
the weary mariner, being calm, mild and beautiful ; the smoke was 
ascending from a thousand fires in the town, preparing the eariy 
meal ; a school or church bell was heard in the distance ; the peo- 
ple who visited us^speaking the English language^forcibly remmded 
us of home and a thousand endearing and painful recollections, 
after an absence of nearly two years ; but our cares were once 
more hushed, and the stormy Indian ooean and its ten thousand 
perils were almost obUterated from our memories, like the forms 
of last year's clouds ; and with grateful hearts we found ourselves 
again within the pale of civilization, in a bracing and healthy cli« 
mate which we had long and ardently desired to meet, to recruit 
our debilitated frames, which were nearly exhausted by the bane- 
Ajl climates of Java and Manila, Siam and Muscat, Mocha and 
Mozambique; An interchange of salutes took place on our arrival, 
but the effect of the echo, was not comparable to that produced by 
the amphitheatre of rocky hills and caverns which.encompass Muscat. 
In passing up from the landing, we went through the water street 
of every seaport town, across the giand parade to George's iiotel, 
in the street called Heeregraoht, through the centre of which is a 
canal which conducts off the wdste water flowing from the base of 
Table mount. From the same source the town and shipping are 
suppUed, the fountain-head being at the beautiful seat of Mr. Breda, 
by means of iron pipes which conduct it to the jetty : hose being 
led into the casks from the conductors, boats are enabled to load 
with great ease. The canal is shaded on either side by the cape 
oak;;^ it also passes through a fine shaded walk which is still 
called the public garden, although a very large portion of it 
is appropriated, most ignominiously, to the culture of vegetables : 
it is probably two thirds of Jtmile in length. The town is regularly 
laid out, is said to contain about twenty^wo thousand inhabi- 
tants, and has a neat appearance ; there are shops in abundance, but 
prices are extravagantly high. The houses are generally made flat- 
roofed, so that the violence of the winds may less affect them : they 
are built of ordinary brick and stuccoed ; the interior arrange* 
ments of the richer class, are similar to those in larger cities, On» 

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iml CLIMATE — FRUlTi. 379 

is very much reminded of a Dutch. Ainorican town in the state of 
New York, excepting that soldiers are stationed at eyery principal 
place, as though the inhabitants were not trustworthy ; they are 
seen before courts of justice, the government-house, postoffice, and 
custom-house, but they are never seen in my own country, even 
before the palace of the President. 

The climate of Cape Town is unquestionably very healthy, and 
not surpassed in equabiUty and in the agreed^leness of its tem- 
perature. - In fact, the transition from heat to cold is very incon- 
siderable, in comparison With many other climates. It seems, 
from a meteorological table, kept for several years, that the mean 
temperature of Cape Town, was at 67i° of Fahrenheit ; the mean 
temperattire, for the coldest Mtinter month, was 67°, the hottest, 79°, 
and the least heat during summer was 63. Although the propor- 
tion of deaths is more than double that of Portsmouth, in New 
Hampshire^ yet this number is greatly augmented by invalids from 
India, who there find their graves ; but in the other districte it i^ 
about in the same ratio as Portsmouth, averaging about one and a 
half per centum. It was truly refresliing, to see the rosy-cheeked 
children, and the healthy appearance of the inhabitants generally, 
after having spent many months among the pale,« sallow com- 
plezioned and dying East Indians. Here an Indian may renovate 
bis exhausted frame, and be cured (if it be possible) of that never- 
ending source of complaint, a diseased liver. There are good roads,^ 
pleasant country-seats, fine horses, and good carriages ; and he 
must be very fastidious in his taste, who cannot be suited in his 
viands, for here are fish, flesh, and fowl, in great. variety. As 
to fruit, th^ quality is excellent ; the prices are very low, and the 
variety is certainly extraordinary — for in January there are plums, 
apricots, peaches, almonds, strawberries, mulberries, papes, ap- 
ples, oranges, lemons, figs, muskmelons, and watermelons. In 
February the same. In March the same, adding thereto lemons 
and pomegranates. In April, add pears, limes, and quinces. In 
May, medlars, jambos or rose-apple, loquats, a Chinese fruit, &c. 
In June, add shaddocks and citron, with various kinds of apples and 
pears. In July, August, and September, the same, adding oranges 
10 the last month. In October, adding guavas, &c. In November, 
early figs, strawberries, green almonds, and the fruits of September 
and October. In December the same. And as to vegetables, they 

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are in ereiy yariety, ftlmoet at all seaaimB of the year. And who 
could be 80 devoid of taste, as not to be gratified with the sight of 
the immense Tariety of flowersi shrubs, and parasiticai plants 
which greet die eye at every step? It may, therefore, truly be 
called Florida, or the Land of Flowers. The luxuries of 
Europe, of America, of India, of China, and Australia — in 
short, of the world, are here; and as to the inhabitants, so 
far as I had the pleasure of being acquainted with the En- 
glish part of them, they deserve every commendation it is in my 
power to bestow, for their hospitality and unwearied kindness- 
more particularly the acting-governor, Lieutenant^Colonel Wade, 
the Honourable Mr. Justice Menzies, A. Oliphant, Esq., the attor- 
ney-general, J. B. Edwards, Captain Banco, and the officers of the 
seventy-second Highlanders ; Captain Stevens, the conmiander, and 
the officers of the ninety-eighth regiment 

The articles of export of the most importance, are aloes, oH^ 
raisins, and other dried fruits \ salt, tallow, and wool. There is 
exported also excellent salted beef and butter, and bread, but no 
pork. The following prices were paid. for sundry articles, pur- 
chased by Mr. Stockton, the purser, for the Peacock : — ^ale, two 
Spanish dollsrs per dozen, (Cape made ;) geese. One doilar ; sheep, 
two dollars; fowls, fifteen rix dollars; per dozen; flour, averages 
generally from ten to eleven dollars, it is rarely as low as eight 
dollars fifty cents, frequently at twelve Spanish ddilars per banel, 
e! one hundred and ninety-six pounds; hams and bacon, from 
Europe, twenty-three to thirty-five cents per pound ; butter, (Cape,) 
thirty-one and aquarter cents, including keg; potatoes, sixddlars 
per barrel, including barrel ; pork, (Irish,) twenty-fire dollars ; salt 
beef, (Cape,) eleven dollars per barrel, two hundred pounds, inclu* 
ding barrel, or four and a quarter cents per pound vrithout ; beef, 
(fresh,) five cents ; biscuit, five cents, including bags ; bread, (soft,) 
four cents ; cheese, (Dutch,) twenty-one cents ; brandy, (Cape,) in- 
cluding pipe, which costs ten dollars, sixty cants per gallon ; Cape 
Madeira wine is from five to eighteen poimds sterling per pipe of 
one hundred and ten gallons, according to quality and ripeness ; 
cordage, sixty shillings per one hundred English pounds ; ratline 
and spunyam, fifty-four shillings ; Stockholm tar, fifty-four shil- 
lings per barrel ; blocks eight-pence per inch ; sperm oil, seven 
and sixpence per gallon ; linseed oil, seven shillings ; nafls, nine- 
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IM^] PRICE6 OF WINE8. 881 

pence sterling per pound; fir-plank, four-pence halfpenny per foot ; 
carpenters, six shillings per day ; spirits of turpentine, seven shil- 
lings and sixpence' per gallon ; pump-leather, five shillings per 
pound ; three and a hatf sides, tanned leather, cost sixty shillings 
steriing ^ houseline, seven shillings and sixpence per dozen. The 
four kinds of the celebrated Constaq^ia are sold as follows : — 

£ 9. d, 

Frontignac, per half aum of 19 gallons . . IS 2^ 6 
White .... ditto . ditto ... 11 6 

Red ditto . ditto, . ; . 9 7 6 

Pontac, the richest, ditto . diUo . . . 22 10 
The last costing nearly six dollars per gallon. There will prob- 
ably be added to the list of exports in a few years, olive-oil, cocoa, 
figs, almonds, nuts, dried, pickled and smoked fish, raw silk, cotton, 
tobacco, grapes and currants. If the British government would im- 
pose a reasonable duty on cape produce at home^ the quantity of 
wine, brandy, dried fruits, dtc, would be vastly increased, and many 
a barren field and neglected hill would blossom like the rose, and 
pour forth riches inexhaustible. That any duty at all should be 
paid, seems most strange and unnatural to an American^ but that 
it should amount to a prohibition (as on wine) is unbearable. At 
their own sister-colonies, they are obliged to pay as follows; at 
Mauritius, six per cent, at New South Wales, five, and at Hobart town. 
Van Diemen's land, fifteen per cent. : whereas in Brazil they pay 
only the latter duty. What would seem more strange to an Ameri-, 
can planter in Louisiana, than to have his produce most extrava- 
gantly taxed, or taxed at all in the state of Maine, but most fortu^ 
nately it is prohibited by the constitution of the United States. No 
less a duty than two shillings and six pence sterling per gallon is 
paid on cape wine in England, and dried fruits are extravagantly 
taxed. Taxation without representation was one of the causes of 
revolution, and the stamp act was another, with both of which their 
colonies are burdened. It matters not whether they tax their 
colonists, on the spot where there domicil is, or whether it is done 
in England on their produce. The duty on imports and exports 
is the most important branch of the revenue of the Cape. Great 
Britain requires the colony to pay the whole expense of het 
establishments, except the army and navy, and yet all important 
offices are filled by the crown. As it respects the local taxes they 

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are almost innumerable. Among these enumerated, I find every 
male or female, bond or free, who has arrived at the age of sixteeoy 
pays an amiual tax of six shillings sterling eadi, and ten shillings 
more on every servant, besides a tax on horses and carriages, on 
the productions of the farm, wine, brandy, &c., &c. In reference 
to household expenses, meat, jish and bread are cheap, but wood 
is extravagantly high, and ever will be, as no coal has ever yet 
been found in this, or in any other part of Afirica ; it is frequently as 
high as six to seven pounds ten shilling sterling per chaldron. Sjdr 
ney can furnish it at a much cheaper rate, and it will probably soon 
be brought altogether from that quarter. Servants' wages are high- 
er here than in any other country, and house rent is at about the 
same rate as in New Y<Mrk. It seems almost incredible, yet it is 
unquestionably true, that the contract price for fresh beef and mut- 
ton (for 1833) to supply the garrison at the cape, should be at a 
fraction less than a penny per pound, and that bread should be 
furnished at a penny per pound ; but I presume it is made of bar- 
ley and oats, and probably a proportion of beans, as it is frequently 
in England, for it cannot be made of wheat for three times the 
price. This information is derived fnmi Governor Wade. It is 
most surprising, that not a single whale-ship belongs to the cape, 
when whales are so abundant^ even within sight of their harbours. 
There are two small boat^whaling establishments in False bay, 
one at Cape Town, one in Algoa, and one in Plettenberg's bay. The 
boats are mostly of a bad construction, and too small; they fish 
only for cow whale, when they comeinto still water th calve, and 
cleanse themselves with sand ; but this kind of fishery is very de- 
structive to the species, and they have greatly diminished in num- 
bers, so that the business is scarcely worth following. Neither do 
they dry, pickle or smoke fish for exportation, and yet the bays 
swarm with them, and there is a mine of wealth yet untouched on 
the bank of Agulhas. The Brazil and La Plata, the Mauritius, 
&c., would furnish good markets, and a fine hardy set of seamen 
would be raised for commercial and other purposes. The fishing 
on the bank is not so hazardous as that of Newfoundland, and they 
save a tedious voyage, in gcHug and returning ; in fact, it may be 
said diey may be always in sight, of their ovm homes. Salt is 
abundant and the weather never cold, they can make their own 
lines and leads, lead being found in the colony, and they can raise 

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cotton and make th^ sails and cordage, and there is a plenty of 
timber on the east and northeast coast. There are but eleven 
vessels belonging to the cape, of all descriptions, which are prin- 
cipally employed in coasting voyages to Port Elizabeth ; they are 
from forty to one hundred and seventy tons, and their united tqn- 
nage is but one thousand one hundred^and four tons. . The colony 
has been represented to me, by many gentlemen, who have visited 
all the districts, as being poor, the soil generally very light and 
thin, and very deficient in water, the rivers being deep seated, which 
drains off the moisture from the. surrounding country, subject to 
long and destructive droughts, and cursed with locusts and grass- 
hoppers, and the karras or plains being very extensive, and totally 
unfit for cultivation, and^ withal very mountainous. But still, I am 
convinced, that abundance of grain can be raised to advantage, and 
wool, raw silk, wine, dried fruits, beef, &c., &c., besides the pror 
dncts of the ocean, can be exported to a large amount, but Saxony 
or Merino wool must become the most prominent article among 
the exports^ The farmers are wisely rooting out the wire-haired, 
big-tjoiled cape sheep, and substituting those which have wool en 
their backs. It is not an * article of luxury like wine, subject to 
fluctnations from mere change of fashion. If his late majesty, 
George the fourth, had taken a fancy to cape, instead of xeres, 
(sherry,) as he did a few years since, it would have been a fortunate 
circumstance for the colony : the hills would have been clothed with 
vines, instead of a green patch, here and there, dotting the surface 
like the oases in a desert. 

The cape of Good Hope^ from its fine geographical position, 
being placed on the highway between the world's nations, must 
become a place of great importance, when the India and China 
trade is left free and unrestricted, as it ought and must be.' It is 
a most comrenient stopping place for the interchange of commoditieii, 
or to touch for supplies, or to obtain information ; all they now 
want is an unshackled commerce, and a moderate duty laid on their 
produce in the parent-country, and by their sister-colonies. With- 
out this reasonable aid, their agriculture, fisheries and commerce, 
will asake but slow progress, and if the colony does not become 
a burden, it can never be of much advantage to England, excepting 
ta draw off a part of her surplus population, or in case d* a war. 
But the conunerce of the Cape has latterly increased, notwithstanding 

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burdens and the neglect of the parent-country. The number of 
foreign arriyals in Table bay (which was in eyery month in the 
year) from December seventeenth, 1831, to thirtieth November, 
1832, was one hundred and nmety-seven; and at Simon's bay 
thirty-six, including ships-of-war. At the time the Dutch held the 
Cape, no vessels lay in Table bay during Ae winter months, but 
now i am informed, no difference is made in the premium of insur- 
ance, between the winter and summer months; Hempen cables 
of an extreme size (and anchors of course in proportion) a:re always 
preferable to chain cables in any roadstead, where therd is a heavy 
swell and violent gales from the ocean ; but the ^ first few fathcxns 
from the anchor, should be diain to guard against rocks and other 
obstructions and anchors, and it can readily be secured to the 
hempen one. But still no cable is equal to coir, having three 
valuable properties, being strong, buoyant and exceedingly elastic. 
In the La Plata and elsewhere, it has been, found, that riding by 
two or more hemp cables in one string, in a violent gale and heavy 
sea, enables the ship to rise with buoyancy, but if a^ great length 
of chain is veered out, it lies upon the bottom- and operates against 
the rise of the vessel, and she therefor^ feels the full force of the 
sea, which causes her to plunge deeply, or the sea to break over 
her, and consequently there is more danger of foundering. 

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MWOM. KAT-mroKT s r o puL ATicw OP TBB GAPE OP GOOD Bore-puBuo ovina- 


The village in Algoa bay now called Port Elizabeth, is rising 
into importance most rapidly. Twelve years since, it contained 
four houses, and now it has upward of one hundred, and its 
residents are rated at above twelve hundred persons. It is one of 
the most prominent portions of the Cape colony, a place of resort 
for vessels to or from India. Subscriptions to the amount of five 
thousand pounds have been raised, for the purpose of building a 
lighthouse on cape Receife, and a jetty for the landing of goods. 
There are five ships connected with the direct trade to Europe. 
The number of vessels which have visited the port this year is 
about fifty. There is a good road leading to Graham's Town,ninety 
miles in length ; it is in the Albany district, and is said to contain 
. upward of six thousand inhabitants. All imports and exports by 
sea, from Graham's Town, &c., and the adjacent district of Uiten- 
hage, are from this port. The imports in 1828 were fifty-five 
thousand two hundred and one pounds, and had increased in 1832 
to one hundred and twelve thousand eight hundred and forty-five 
poimds, and the exports from forty-one thousand two hundred and 
ninety pounds, to eighty-six thousand nine hundred and thirty-one 
pounds. Provisions of all sorts are in abundance, and ships can be 
watered with great facility by pipes, leading from a pump to the 
sea. The exports are wine, brandy, vinegar, ivory, hides, skins, 
leather, tallow, butter, soap, wool, ostrich-feathers, salted beef, 
wheat, candles, aloes, barley, &c., &c. 

Plettenberg's bay- is another place of resort for vessels in the 


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winter season, bound home from India. The roadstead is <^>eo to 
southeast, but the anchorage is good, in eight, nine, and ten fathoms. 
The bay is spacious, with sufficient room to beat out, in southeast 
gales. The number of inhabitants is about four hundred, up- 
ward of one half being white. Cattle and sheep are plentiful, and 
it is noted for the excellence of its butter; and the timber is 

There is no port of consequence lying between Plettenberg's 
bay and Da Lagoa excepting port Natal, and this has but thirteen 
feet of water at its entrance ; but it is well sheltered from prevail- 
ing winds. A few English traders are only to be found there at 
present, but there is no doubt that the British goTemment will 
have a small garrison stationed there in the course of 1834. The 
merchants at Cape Town are preparing to take immediate adyan* 
tage of this well-situated port, and protection from the government 
follows of course. The traders now penetrate one hundred and 
fifty miles along the southern coast beyond Natal, and far into the 
interior, in a northerly direction. There are no other ports, suitable 
for large ships to visit, than those already named, lying between 
False bay and Da Lagoa. The country about Natal is represented 
as being very fertile, well wooded and watered, and the climate 
healthy ; it was exceedingly populous until the modern Attila, 
C^Aa,took possession of it, and slaughtered most of the inhabitants. 
It abounds in cattle, and ivory is abundant. The Kowie and great 
Fish rivers, where there is a great number of English settlers, 
may be made good ports, whenever suitable improvements are 
made at their embouchures; they are barred like most of the rivers 
from the Cape to Da Lagoa, or I may as well say all the rivers in 
Southern, Eastern and Northeastern Africa, or from the cape of 
Good Hope to cape Guardafui. 

The whole line of North Africa, or the coast leading from the 
cape of Good Hope to Benguela, is represented as being worthless, 
Saldunha bay, and the coast lying between it and Cape Town, 
being the only part where European settlers are found. Saldunah 
bay is well sheltered from violent winds, having a sufficient depth 
of water, but the country is very sandy and agriculture but little 
attended to ; a few cattle and sheep are raised among the scanty 
herbage. Except one or two bays where whales resort, the re- 
maining part offers no inducements to adventurers. 

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*• "»' IHP0RT8 AKD EXPORTS. 387 

c^ I herewith presieBt the amoiint of the imports and exports into 
E^ Table, Simon's, and Algoa bays, for the year 1831 :^ 


Tlw inpoita into Tible bay, fiom Great Britain, wera 871,687 

•••*•* Briti«h colonies 85,680 

** ** " Foreign statee 86,888 

'*•*'* United States of AoMriaa .... 1,907 

i ■ - - , 

i 338,687 

i Pknmds starllm 

^ The impoits into Simoii's bey, from Gieat Britain . 180 10 

** " British colonies . 1,868 6 

** " *< Foreign states . 688 6 


IKtte, ditto, Algoa baj, port Elixabeth, from Great ' 

Britain . : 9,468 6 

** « . M British colonies . 778 16 

•* '* "* Foreign states 187 

* — 10,844 

Tlie n^iole amount o/ imports into the Cape of Good Hope colonies . .£346,058 

The exports from Tsble Bay to Great Britain were 100,509 

<« ** •«- British c6lenies 64»696 

•• << ** FaragnsMtM 11,618 

Ditto, ditto, SimoD*s Bay to Great Britain .... 8,941 
•* u H Britisii colonies . . . 1,661 

«* «< *• Foreign states . . 1,896 

u u M Navysopplies . • . 6,476 0. 


Ditto, ditto, AlffUL Bay, port Elinbeth to Gieat 

Britain ... 84,019 00 

«« ^ • « Britidi colonies . . . 4»800 

u a u Foidgn states . . . 1»898 



In the amount of exports, from the three ports named, twenty- 
nine thousasid and thirty-sir pounds were articles of foreign growth 
or manufacture, leaving the sum of one hundred and eighty-nine 
thousand, fite hundred and seventy pounds, being the value of ar- 
• tides of colonial produce for the year 1831. 

The Tahie of exports to Port Eliubeth, m 1881, from Table Bay, mm . £44,6T8 
Valna of imports, in reton, from Port Elizabeth . ; 34,640 

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Tbese smns not being included in the above statements, mtist 
be added to the aggregate of these ports respectively. Since April, 
1832, Cape Town and Simon's Town have been declared "^ce 
warehousing parts ;" and Port Elizabeth was declared a *' £ree 
port" only — all goods of every description whatever, the growth, 
productions, or manufacture of Great Britain, or any of the pos- 
sessions of the British crown, pay a duty of three pounds per 
centum. All goods being the growth, produce, or manufttctnre of 
any of the East India company's possessions, pay ten pounds per 
centum. Any foreign nation, at peace with Great Britain, may im- 
port, in foreign ships, any goods, being the growth, produce, 
or manufacture of such foreign nation, ten pounds per cent., and 
they may export any goods to any country, &c. All casks, 
barrels, staves, heading, or hoops, to be used as wine casks, duty 

No gunpowder, arms, ammunition, or utensils of war, or firesb 
or salted beef, pork, dried or salted fish, train oil, blubber, fins, or 
skins of creatures livitig in die sea, can be imported^ except from 
Great Britain, or some British possession in America. No tea 
can be imported, except by the East India company^ or some 
British possession in America. 

Accounts are kept in pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings, or 
rix dollars, skillings, and stivers. One stiver is equal to three 
eighths of a penny ;* six stivers, two and one fourth, or one skil- 
lii^g; ^J^ skillings, eighteen pence, or one rix dollar. Three 
shillings and ninepence is the par value of the Spanish dollar, but 
they were sdd by the purser of the Peacock at four shillings ; and 
doubloons, at sixteen dollars, or three pounds four shillings. Bills 
on England were three shillings and eleven pence sterling per 
dollar. ^ 

The weights made use of in this cojony, are derived from the 
standard pound of Amsterdam, and the pieces pennitted to be 
assizedi are from fifty pounds down to one loot, or the thirty-second 
part of a pound, which is regarded as unity.. 

Proportions between colonial and British weights and measures. 
Weights : ninety-one pounds and four fifths, Dutch^are equal to 
one hundred pounds English, avoirdupois. Measures : com, four , 
Dutch schepds are equal to one Dutch muid, one hundred and 
seven ditto, to eighty-two. 

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P O P U 1. ▲ T X If • 

Winchester bushels. A load of ten muids is equal to thirty bushels, 
two pecks, one gdlon, and one pint English; eight bushels make a 
quarter English. 

One ell of cloth is equal to twenty-seven Rbynland inches; 
one hundred and thirty-three, fifty-one hundredths, Dutch elU, 9Xt 
equal to one hundred English yards. 

The truth is, that all articles of produce are sold by English 
weight, and not Dutch, uidess by a special agreement. 

The colony of the cape of -Good Hope is divided into ten dis* 
tricts. Herewith, I present a table> showing the whole amount of 
the popufaition ior 1831-1832 ; the number of births, marriages, 
and deaths- Mr. Greig, the editor and publisher of the, South 
African Almanac, says, *^ It is compiled boax tax and rolls, and 
there is «a (Moaission of the itinerants' and Hottentots' settlement at 
£at river, &c., to the number of between fifteen and sixteen thou* 
nand ;" and Cape Towii is supposed to contain about twenty-lwo 
thousand, in December, 1833, instead of the number stated. 

white* coloured. 



^ ) District 


ChDOm . 




































Tolil . 148,672 


18,812 16,821 ^7,484 69,864 



Told 126,848 

AiidArteanaj 9,500 

Add omiMioiit, Mj 16,662 

Makuwagnadtotdor 146,000 

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890 BMBA88T TO THX SA8T. Pi H ii*" U 

This settlementywhicb was foanded by the Dutch, under Gorer- 
nor Riebeck, in 1652, contained in 1832 but a. little upward of one 
hundred and forty thousand, there lao^ being so many inhabitaota as 
there are in the city of New Yotk or Philadelphia, whereas the 
first English settlement of Puritans,, which landed in New England 
but thirty-two years previous, now numbersupwaid of two mill- 
ions, and the United States not less than fifteen millions. The 
Dutch held it firom 1692 to 1705, when it was placed under the 
protection of the British government, by order of the pxince of 
Orange. It was restored to the Batavian government in the-com- 
mencement of 1803. In January, 1806, it capitulated to the En- 
glish arms under General Sir D. Baird, and it is now an inlegciA 
part of the British empire. 

Ott a calm and beautiful morning, before the sun had tinged the 
mountains of Hottentots' Holland, or Table mount, we were pre- 
paring for a ride to the celebrated vineyard of Constantia and to 
Simon's town. J. B. Ebden, Esq., Captain Geisinger and myself, 
went in an excellent carriage, having six fine horses, accompanied 
by Captain Shields of the Boxer, Lieut. Craver of thei Peacock, 
Mr. Poor of the Boxer, .6qc., on horseback. A pleasant ride ot five 
miles broiight us to the beautiful village of Wynberb, passing on the 
right of the Devil's Peak. This village is adorned with a great 
number of gentlemen's seats, and neat cottages, the avenues leading 
to them having well-trimmed hedges of myrtle and oak, and over 
shadowed by pine, oak or fruit trees, the grounds being ornamented 
with flowers and shrubs, and the porches shaded with luxuriant 
gntpe-vines. A small but very pretty new church, belonging to 
the Episcopalians, graces a rising ground on the ri j^t. We pro- 
ceeded on about five miles further, where the road branches to the 
left and to the right, the former being the direct road to Simon's 
town, and the latter leading to Constantia, &c. We breakfuled 
at the picturesque seat of the late Governor Cole, at Protea, with 
Mr. Scott of Bengal. From thence we went about three miles out 
of the direct road, passing the Newlands, a celebrated seat of a 
former governor. Lord Somerset, who lavished some eighty thou- 
sand pounds sterling upon it, at the expense of the British govern- 
ment. We passed through a noble avenue of ancient oaks, which 
led to Great Constantia, where we found a very substantial Dutch 
dwelling-house, having extensive out-buildings on the right, with 

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mm C0N8TANTIA. 891 

the wine-store in the rear. We were very kindly and hospitably 
leceiTed, and treated to a taste of four kinds of rery old, rich wine, 
drawn out of some of the immense leaguers, which liiie both sides of 
an extensive building. Every thing about the place is in excellent 
order; the variety of fruits, flowers, shrubs and creeping plants, 
and live hedges, made it truly enchanting. 

A fine stream of water runs through it, from the range of moun^^ 
tains, on the decline of which the vineyard is situated. From this 
estate two other vineyards have been formed, viz. : high and low 
Constantia, so called from their relative positions to the mountains, 
lliere is a most commanding view from the upper garden, the 
mountains about Hottentots' Holland, cape Hanglip and the range 
of mountains leading towards the celebrated cape of Good Hope, 
as well as False bay and the Indian ocean, and had we ascended 
to the top of the mountains, which overlook Constantia, about three 
thousand feet, we could have seen both oceans at one view, the 
Indian and South Atlantic. The vines, which were hanging thick 
with clusters of fruit, are kept as low as three feet; only two frniit- 
bearing shoots of three eyes are left of the last year's growth. The 
grapes are trodden out vrith the feet, as well as pressed out, the former 
being preferred, as in ancient times. There was but little to grati- 
fy the sight after leaving this hospitable place, till out arrival at 
Simon's town. On the left is a low sandy isthmus, (having on it 
many lagoons,) which connects the cape district with Hottentots' 
Holland ; it is about twelve miles in length, and separates Table 
from False bay; there can be no doubt but that cape district was 
once separated from the main land, and this plain was formed by 
the accumulation c{ sand, thrown in by the gales bom the Atlantic 
and Indian oceans. A few miserable hovels are scattered here and 
there, over this dreary isthmus, and on the right toward the moun- 
tains, there were a few ordinaxy cottages, and a solitary shepherd 
watching his flock, but scarcely a tree was seen in any direction, 
excepting a few Proteas, or those about die farm-houses. We 
wound round the base of Mysenberg, which is about two thousand 
feet high, passing through a dreary and uncomfortable looking 
fishing village of the skme name. Proceeding on, we came next 
to Fishhook bay, where there is a poor village, having a small 
whaling establishment. At this place we came to a low, sandy isth- 
mus, which is mostly covered at high water, and leads to Chap- 
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man's bay, on the west; this isthmus separates in nearly equal 
divisions the northern &om the southern range of mountains, they 
being in length twenty-nine nailer from the Lion'a Rump to the 
cape of Good Hope. 

About two milea fnnn the latter Tillage is Elsey peak, about 
twelve hundred feet high, round which the road passes, ike base 
being washed by the sea, and then we cMue to the bay and village 
of the same name, having another small whaling establiehnittit ; 
but the inhabitants had shaken hands with poverty, and these thxee 
villages are evidently Cut going to ruin« Two miles further broo^ 
tts to Simon's town-; it was suddenly presented to our view on 
winding round the base of a mountain, with its naval arsenai and 
pretty white houses, having altogether a neat and cheerful aj^ar* 
ance. A frigate, a merchant-ship and a sheer hulk, were riding 
quietly at anchor on the glassy bosom of the bay. We stopped at a 
neat hotel, and after a visit to Admiral F. Wanea and famify, by 
whom we were very kindly and hospitably received^ we visited the 
arsenal,, this being the cape rendezvous for British ships-of-war on 
this static, and found every thing in fine onler and well airanged, 
viz. : suits of safls, boats, blocks, rigging, masts, chain and hemp 
cables, anchors, dec. ; all in readiness for use from a seventy-four-gun 
ship to a sloop. The streets Were in good (urder, and the houses very 
convenient and. well built of stone or brick, and stuccoed, and the 
whole nspect of the place was favourable, and had an air of com* 
fort and cleanliness, although bounded by barrel, woodiest and 
precipitous mountains and hills, with only here and there a few 
scattered Ihiit or forest trees about pivate enclosures. The town 
is represented to have a population of one thousand seven hundred 

False bay is easy of access to vessds of the greatest depth of 
water, having but few dangers and those visible. No harbour 
can surpass that of Simon's bay in point of security, having a suffi- 
cient depth of water for ships of any burden ; the winds may be 
said never to blow fit>m the east, which is the only point from 
which teasels are. exposed. The winds most prevalent in False 
bay, are from the southeast, and Simon's bay is compTelely sheltered 
tri>m their violence ; and in the winter from the north, which does 
not affect vessels materially, which are properly secured. Boats 
can always land; and refreshments of all kinds may be had, excel* 

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lent fresh beef and mutton, and salted cape beef/ with bread, bis- 
cuit, vegetables, wine, butter, &c., &c. 

The bay abounds with fish, and if there is 4my deficiency of 
articles in the town, they may always be procured from Cape Town 
by the wagons. Horses and carriages are alwaysto be had, and 
the mail runs twice a week to the capitol, during the wann months, 
and three times during th^ cool part of the season; the distance is 
twenty-one miles. Within the district there are plenty of cattle, 
aiul sheep, and wheat raised, and. wine - and brandy made in abun- 
dance. It is every way a most#onvenient and safe port for re- 
freshment^, and to repair vessels, and a most desirable haven for 
shelter to the way-worn mariner,who has been buJflTeting the storms 
of winter about this " cape of torments." Our return occupied the 
space of three hours, and was performed by the same^et of horses 
tiiroughout, with perfect eas^. 

The following public institutions are established at Cape Town: 
The South African library, in a building at one end of the Grand 
Parade, i& at once the pride and boast of the colony. It contains 
about ten thousand volumes in all departments of literature, and is 
highly creditable to the place. The Soutli African college, founded 
in 1829, is spoken of in high terms by the inhabitants, although a 
large portion of the sons of wealthy parents are sent to England to 
complete their education. It has a professor of classical and En- 
glish literature, as well as one for Dutch, and one for mathematics 
and the principles of astronomy. It has also a Dutch assistant and 
teacher of German, an Engtish assistant, a mathematical assistant, 
writing-master, and drawing-master. There is also a society for 
promoting Christian knowledge, a philanthropic society for the 
diminution of slavery in the colony, and a royal observatory, 
having an astronomer, an assistant-astronomer, and a chronometer 
and instrument maker ; a Bible union instituted in 1819 ; a Souik 
African infant school ; a savings bank ; a South African literary 
and scientific instituiidn, to which is attached an excellent museum ; 
a medical society, a " European and burial society f this so- 
ciety was formed in 1795, for supporting poor and unfortunate 
fellow-countrymen, during their illness, and in the ev^nt of their 
death, to cause them to be respectably interred. It is a Dutch 
institution, and now possesses considerable funds. A " Saint An- 
drews," friendly society, for thcr benefit of the Scotch, founded in 


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1820» to afford relief in sickneflSyasd medical aasistance. A wid- 
ows' and old women's fund; a widows' private fund to afford 
relief to the widoMrs of deceased members ; a South African mis- 
sionaiy society; a London missionary society, established in 1795 ; 
a Wesley missionary station society for Southern Africa. The 
school of industry, for the instructing female children of all de» 
nominations in reading and needlework; there is also a Sunday 
school attached to it. There are also a ladies' benevolent society, 
an English choral society, and eight Sunday schools. 

The commercial exchange i^^ handsome commodious edifice^ 
having a lofty and spacious centre-hall : the tables are furnished 
with newspapers, and there is a good supply of mercantile works of 
reference with maps, &c. Most of the public meetings are held 
here ; the north wing is used by the South African public library ; 
a masonic hall is held in another room, and it has a ball-room, fif^- 
eight feet by twenty-four. 

There are also a colonial insurance company and an agricul- 
tural society f which are likely to be highly useful, not only to Cape 
Town but the whole colony, branches being already established in 
most of the districts. There are a temperance society, having nine 
branches,in almost every district ; an orphan house^ andtwo "free 
schools!^ besides other institutions. There is an English church 
now building, called St. George's chureh, at a probable expense of 
sixteen thousand pounds sterling ; the Rev. George Hough is the 
chaplain; the service is at present performed in the Dutch reformed 
church, at noon, after the Dutch society has retired. The new 
church is calculajted to hold one thousand persons, of which three 
hundred seats are reserved for the poor. A Lutheran church : St. 
Andrew's church (Presbyterian : ) a Ionian Catholic chapel, and a 
Wesleyan and Methodist chapel, &c., &c. 

There are four newspapers printed in the colony, three at Cape 
Town and one at Graham's town, the Government Gazette being 
one of them. There has also been published since June, 1830, a 
monthly publication called the Cape of Good Hope Literary Gra* 
zette ; each number contains twelve quarto pages. It is a most 
respectable periodical, and contains a great deal of original matter, 
on general and local topics : it is independent in its tone, liberal 
in its doctrines, and deserving of encouragement. The " South 
African Almanac and Directory," for 1833, possesses very high 

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morit, and I am deeply indebted to it, for no inconsiderable portion of 
ftatistical matter, &c., relative to the colony of the cape of Good 

Attached ^ to the South African literary and scientific insti- 
tution is a museum ; no museum I have yet seen, trill compare 
with this, in the superior arrangement of the birds and beasts ; no- 
thing can be in finer order than the first : it would require many' 
years of study and observation, and a fine tact, to be able to ar- 
range them in the*ir natural state as they are — ^to catch, in fact, the 
'* living beauty," when sporting among the wilds of his native bow- 
ers. There are many hundreds in the highest state of preservation ; 
the beauty of their plumage is unsurpassed. There is also a srhdll 
but valuable collection of shells, minerals, fossils, colral, sponge, 
&c., &c, A French gentleman is the artist, the preserver and ar- 
ranger of this beautiful museum. I regretted much, that an hour 
was all I. had to devote to these beautifully arranged objects of 
nature. There are a noble lion and a lioness at the upper 
end of the public garden, belonging to •government. There were 
for sale in Cape Town a number of zebras from the Snow-berg 
mountains ; these were in fine order and appeared to be very tract- 
able, and several were mounted without any difficulty. This ani- 
mal is so well known that it is unnecessary to attempt giving any 
description of it ; their coats were in such good order, and the yel- 
low ground and black stripes so bright^ distinct, and perfect, that 
one can scarcely believe it is other than a work of man's fancy ; it 
differs from the zebra of the plains, by having black rings upon the 
legs. The price was ninety pounds sterling per pair; they are 
built very compactly, and are said to be a very hardy animal ; there 
was an *' ant bear/* but it differed materially from one I saw at 
Buenos Ayres ; the body and nose of the latter were longer, and 
the bristles on the back also of greater length, and more rigid and 
wiry : he wias very harmless, and suffered any one to handle him : 
a spring-bock-springer, antelope, or shoWy-bock was also for 
sale : he had a cavity about the lower part of the rump, adjoining 
the tail, the hair being quite white ; when he bounded in the air 
this spot dilated by the effort, and closed again on descending. 
The above anmials, as well as birds, reptiles, &o., were for- sale 
by Mr. Reid, in Roland street^^a " colleotoi' of curiosities'' as h% 
styles himself on bis card« 

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Ml. YiUet in Long stieel baa a Teiy g»at coHectiao of aniiDab 
Inring and dead: the living ones aie al his garden atGieeo Poinl. 
He is also a nnisery seedsman and florist : prepares birds/ akins, 
insects, &c. There are many other ^'cdkctors of curioailies" 
The enoimoQS prices paid hy the EagUsb generally, pot all the 
traders on the firontier upon the ^ qui vive ;" and the shell-collect- 
ors at Table and Simon's bay, &c., find a ready sale and highiuices 
Ux jpaper-nautilas, beautifid limpits in great yariety, as well aa 
scaly diitons, &:c. 

Dr. Smith has in his possession a stuffed Hottentot woman, for- 
merly a well-known notmously bad character in Cape Town ; she 
was skinned in a very complete manner, excepting the head, hands 
and feet, die fleshy part being taken away,a]Kl then preserred and 
stuffed and placed in a standing positimi; it is almost the first 
attempt ever made : the features are the same as when living: she 
was about thirty years of age, of middle height, and weU made, bar* 
iag close set and small tufted twists of hair; apparently no bridge to 
the nosOy thin lips, with the extraordinaiy projection behind, which 
iacoQuncm to her nation. The Hottentots are oiiq(uestionably a 
distinct race, firom the rest of mankind* with the pecnharities well 

There is a race-course at Green point ; the hotaes have a high 
celebrity for swiftness, strength and beauty. It has been found 
that the racehorses imported from En^and cannot compete witb 
them. It is probable^they never fully recover firom the &tigues of 
a tediooa voyage. 

The oil which is preferred, is taken fiK>m the top of the tail <^ 
the cape sheep; it bums without smoke or smell. The aooms are 
preserve in fire^ water, and the cattle fed on them as wdl as grass* 

There are regular mails to twenty-five different towns. The 
tite of postage fcf a single lottery is fir«»n twopence to thirteen 
pence sterling. 

There are stationed within the colony three regiments of sol- 
diaoi, the seventy-second Highlanders, the ninety-fifth and seventy- 
fifth regiments; the two first named iEune at Cape Tovra and vidiuty, 
the seventy-second being stationed in various parts of the colony. 
I wiUjonly say they are in the fipest order posmble, and the officers 
of the royal artillmry and royal engineers, are gentlemen ^kat woaU 
honour any situaticm in which they might be pkced. 

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Robbia island is low land, saised but a few feet aboTe the level 
of the sea, and can only be seen at a short diBtance, lying parallal 
with the main and devoid of treea. . It seems on the fint view to be 
a part of the continent; it is the Botany bay of the cape, and has 
a snudl garrison ; ihexe is a good anchorage on' the Boutheaatem 
aidcy and a safe passage between it and the continent. 

There is an expedition preparing for discoveries in the interior 
of Africa, to consist oi aboi4 forty persons, under the direction of 
a most worthy and scientific man, Dr. A. Smith. It was to leave 
Graff Reinet, being the moat convenient place of rendeasvous, on 
the first of June, 1834. At that place there can easily be procured 
oxen, wagons and attendants. It is in contemplation to penetrate 
as far as the equator, in a northeasterly direction, but the course 
will be varied according to circumstances ; the time it will occupy 
will probably be two years. The objects in view are to enlarge 
the geogr^hical knowledge of the extensive and unknown regiona 
to the northward of this settlement, to obtain scientific inionnation, 
especially as it regards the branches of meteorology, geology and 
magnetism ; to collect botanical specimens, and those of natural 
history, and to ascertain what prospects the productions of the 
country, and the disposition of the native tribes, hold out to com- 
mercial enterprise, are the chief aims of the intended experiment. 
There is to be a botanist, a surveyor and a draftsman, capable of 
delineating landscape and portraying objects of natural history, 
and a person aq;>able of conducting the trading departmoit of the 
expedition; It seems there are to be seven wagons, with one 
European, and four Hottentots, to each, and one hundred and 
twenty crew, and it is probi^le that two sergeants and ten sd- 
diers will be added to the number, Th^ cost of the expedition 
wiU amount, probably, to not less than two thousand pounds, 
exclusive of the necessary instruments, maps, &e. Lieutenant 
Edie of the ninety-eighth regiment will assume the conmiand, in 
case of accident to Dr. Smith. Both of these gentlemen lately 
returned from a journey to Natal. May every success attend so 
laudable an undertaking : it is fraught with innumerable dangers, 
from sickly climates, savage beasts, and still more savage men. 

It is in contemplation to build a break-water, into the bay, com-* 
mencing near the Chavonne battery, and a survey has been com- 
pleted. If a douUe railway is made from the quarries on the side 

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89S S1CBA88T TO THS X18T. CMib 

of the hill called the Lion's Rump, which is at a very shoit dis* 
tance, the full cars on descending could be made to return the 
empty, and dien it would be done at a small expense, considering 
the importance of the object. 

On the twenty-first, our stock of provisions being replenished, 
we took leave of our hospitable friends. The ship tacked and 
stood in shore, and then tacked again and stood of^ the main- 
topsail being aback ; a salute of twenty-one guns was fired, the 
English flag being hoisted at the main. The compliment was re- 
turned by the castle, the ship ** filled away," and we passed be- 
tween Robbin island and the main, owing to the wind being light, 
from the northward and westward. The convict-houses on the 
island are on the eastern side. The neatness of the officers^ 
quarters and the soldiers' barracks, gave some relief to a very bar- 
ren spot. The verdant vine-fields, the pleasant town, and the 
cloud-capped Table mount, gradually receded from our view, 
as we approached the land about Saldanha bay. The weather 
was fine, the temperature of the air was delightful ; a smooth sea, 
vrith light breezes, accompanied us to the coast of Brazil, so that 
the smallest boat in the ship could have performed the passage with 
perfect ease and safety. We did not attempt to make much west- 
ing until the ship had arrived in the latitude of about eighteen, and 
in the longtitude of about eight west, owing to the baffling and un- 
certain winds which are always experienced in a higher latitude, 
as an approach is made towani the sea, midway between the two 
continents, and toward the coast of America. And vre derived but 
little benefit from north^ly and westerly currents, which only as- 
sisted us about one hundred and fifty miles. On the seventeenth 
January, ( 1 834,) we once more were blessed with the sight of " Lord 
Hood's gigantic nose," and the Vac d'Assucar, and anchored the 
next morning in Rio harbour. Having been deprived nearly twenty 
months of letters from home, great anxiety was expressed by aQ 
for the return of the boat, which had been despatched on shore and 
to the Natchez to procure them — ^hopes and fears rushed on the 
fancy of all, as the return boat approached the ship — ^the budget at 
lengtti arrived,and was opened and distributed, the seals torn asun- 
der, and the contents read with the utmost rapidity, and in a few 
minutes the delightful sound that " all's weH" was heard from the 
cabin the ward-room, and firom Ae steerage to the berth, gun» 

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and spar decks, repaying all for the thousand perils they had en- 
coiintered from stormy oceans, treacherous reefs, and baneful cli- 
mates. Such is the delight most painfully earned by a long, pro- 
tracted absence from our country, and our friends. 

The Boxer having parted company soon after learing Table bay, 
an4 keeping more to the westward than the Peacock, caused a de- 
lay of two days in her passage beyond ours. I remained at Rio 
until the arrival from *' the river" of the Lexington, commanded by 
Captain M'Keeverl 

Having taken leave of many worthy friends on board the Pea- 
cock, I embarked on board the Lexington, and on the first day of 
March we were cheered with the welcome sound of the first 
lieutenant's voice, ordering the capstan bars to be manned. The 
band immediately struck up the cheering tune of "Homeward 
bound," the capstan bars flew round like a top, and in a few 
i^inutes, the ponderous anchor was at the bows, and d^ we " filled 
away," every countenance seemed exultingly to say, *^ Our next 
anchorage ground will be within sight of home, and friends, and- 
our dear native shore." Light and unfavourable winds annoyed us 
for the first fortnight, until we stretched as far to the eastward as 
28^, and latitude 19^, when the northeasterly wind began to prevail 
more steadily. On the twenty-seventh day, we crossed the equator 
and passed between cape St. Roque and the island of Femand de 
NcNTonha. The whole passage was marked with light winds, until 
we arrived in the latitude of Bermudas, when strong gales from the 
northward caused us to suJflTer severely from the cold. On the 
twenty-fourth of April we caught the first sight of land at cape Cod, 
and that evening, after "battling the watch" all day with a fiirious 
northwester o£f cape Ann, we put into Boston harbour and an- 
chored near the light-house. On quitting the ship and her worthy 
commander and officers, the next morning, the music played, 
'^ Home, Sweet Home," which I was upon the eve of visiting, after 
a painful absence of twenty-six months. 

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A TahUj showing the nasnes^ of the various places visited in 
roteUioriy an board the United States ships-^f-woTy Peacock and 
Lexington^ from the eighth of Marchy 18d2» to the twenty-fourth 
of Apnly 1834 ; together with the distances between each place^ 
and the nutnber of days at sea. 

Boston . . 
Rio Janeiro 
Baenos AyiM 
Angier . 

HanOa . 

1/iMinrf . 
Phujen bftj 
Batavia . 
Angier . 
Red Sea 
Muacat . 
Cape of 




Rio de Janeiro 

Montevideo « 

Buenos Ayies 



Crokatoa and Angier . . . 

\^ \o^u^ . . . 

Phuyen bay and Coctun-China 

Siam , . 




Red Sea 


Qointan^ny and Mozambique 
Cape otOood Hope . . . 
Rio de Janeiro . . . . 

Peacock, milea 

Lexington, from Bio de Janeiro to 

Whole distance of miles, ezcIosiTe of) 
cuixents i 

Distance In 


per log. 



















days at sea. 











370 days. 
64 do. 

4M dn. 

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State of Commerce in the year 1833, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ; 
Condensed and brought into Form from Various Documents. 

Thkr* arrived 1704 national yessels, and departed 1639; and 
arrived 696 foreign Tesselsi and departed 617. 

The exports consisted of the following articled, yit. : — 

Coffee, 577,764 bags and barrels 
Sugar, 15,000 boxes, 11,204 barrels, 

7,217 bags . 
Hides, 187,530 . 
Horns, 380,242 
Rice, 14,248 bags 
Rum, 3,492 pipes 
Tobacco, 15,919 rolls 
Ipecacuanha, 458 barrels and bundles 
Tapioca, 937 barrels and bags 
Cotton, 196 bales 
Timber, 1,633 dozens 
Tanned half hides, 5,210 . 
Gold, diamonds. Sec, 

Valued at 





. 754,048 










1 59,880 






. ; . 40,860 


. 20,987 












The imports were valued at 

The revenue amounted to the sum of 

There were imported 184,000 barrels of flour, including 13,000 barrels 

on hand, on the first of January ; and there were exported 48,500 ; and 

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tbere were on lutnd, the first of January, 1834, 35,000, which gave 
100,500 barrels consumed — 164,185 barrels were imported firom the 
United States, and 6,815 barrels from Europe and elsewhere. 

The number of foreign yessels despatched during the year, were 
565, measuring 149,746 tons, of which, 
208 were English, measuring 







































53,985 tons. 





































There were shipped, by American yessels to the United States, 
236,708 bags of coffee, and to Europe, 67,043 bags ; making 303,751 
bags. Sic, which is upward of one half of the whole quantity exported. 

Piodoctioa of coffee throi^^ut lbs warld» in 1833 : — 


BrazU 92,432,240 

Jara •*••••• 40,000,000 

Rest of India and AnOrfa . \ . . 30,000,000 

Cuba . 50,000,000 

Porto Rico ...... 15,000,000 

St Domingo 40,000,000 

British West Indiee . • • • . 20,000,000 

French " 15,^,000 

Dutch «< 10,000«000 

fi^pamah "^ 10,000,000 

Total pounds . . 322,432,240 

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▲ PPSHBIX* 405 

CanBiniqpcum of coffee in 1838| copied fiom ut iMmup news- 


Low Coimtties . • • : . dO,000,000 

Gennany and the Baltic • • . ^ 70,000,000 

Sjpain, Portagal, and the Meditettaneaa • 65,000,000 

England and Ireland . • • • 25,000,000 

France 24,000,000 

United States • • . •' • . 80,000,000 


In 1830, Brazil produced 391,785 bags 
" 1831, " « 430,672 « 

" 1832, « « 513,296 " 

« 1833, " " 677,764 « 


Being an increase of nearly fifty per cent., from 1830 to 1833. 

Coffee consumed in the world :— 
The consumption in Great Britain, 

is about 

a ^ 


Spain and Portugal 
Germany and the Baltic 
United States 




This quantity is produced as follows :-— 
British West India Islands 
Java . • « • 

Ciiba .... 
St. Domingo 

Dutch West India Colonies 
French ditto and Bouiboo 
Brazil and S. Main . 



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16 ▲PFBiei]fix. 

PopuUlioa of BnzQ in 1819, continued :— 


Whites .... 


. Indians • . • . 


Free casta 


Ditto Uacks 


Black abma 



Piodnoe : 100,000 caaea sngai, of 15 qtt, of 128 pounds eacli. 
150,000 bales of cotton, 12,500,000 pounds. 

Between 12 and 13 millions pounds of coffee. 

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€f the Aboriginal Inhabitants of (he MalayanPemnsula^ and par^ 
ticularly of the Negroes called Semang, 

This subject lias aflbrded matter of curious and interesting specula^ 
tmi,to several writers of modem date. Marsden, Leydon, Raffles and 
Crawfurd have alternately bestowed a slight attention upon it ; but it is 
one which requires more minute investigation, and would amply repay 
the labours of the philosopher. 

Of the interior parts of the Malayan peninsula, which is the Surama 
or Gold island, one of the three sacred isles of the Hindoos (a) and the 
grand depot for souls after death, (b) there lia little known even at the 
[Hresent day, and the researches which have hitherto been made, re- 
garding the Aboriginals of this portion of the East, have as yet been 
exceedingly defective, and unattended with any satisfactory result. << In 
our present state of knowledge," as a late author observes, *' I fear we 
must pronounce that the origin of the nations which inhabit the Indian 
islands seems buried in unfathomable obscurity, and hardly aj^ieais less 
mysterious than that of indigenous plants and animals of the country they 
inhabit." (e) Mr. Marsden, in the introduction to his Malayan grammar, 
has quoted the opinion of Sir S. Raffles, (then Mr. Raffles, secretary to 
the governor of Prince of Wales island,) who published a paper on the 
Malay nation, in the twelfth volume of the Asiatic Researches, relative 
to the Aborigines of the peninsula. ^'The Malajrs," observes thb an- 
thor, '* seem to have occupied a country previously unappropriated, for, 
if we except an inconsiderable race of Caffirees who are occasionally 
found near the mountains, and a few tribes of the Orang-Benua, theie 
does not exist a vestige of a nation anterior to the Malays in the whole 
peninsula. As the population of the penineula has excited much inter- 
est, my attention has been particularly directed to the various ^ribes 
stated to bo scattered over the country. Those on the hills are usually 
called Semang and are woolly headed ; those on the plains, Orang- 
Benua, or people belonging to the country ; the word Benua being 
api^ed by the Malaya to any extensive country, as Benua China, 
Benua Kling, but it i^pears u> be only a.sort of Malay plural to the 
Arabic word Ben or Beni, signifying tt tribe." {dj This h3rpothesis, how- 
ever, is satisfactorily confuted by Marsden, who asserts that Benua is a 
genuine Malay word signifying country^ region, land, and that a slight 

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yariftdon of the word, as Wheniraa or Fenniui is found in the Bisagsn 
dialects of the Philippines, and the langupges of the South Sea islands, 
beahng a predsely similar signification. In my inquiries among the 
Malays, I have not been able, however, to discover that the term 
QiangwBenna (which is Utera% Aborigines or people of the land) is 
ever apfdied to any paitieular race of the Malayan peninsula, the sop- 
posed Aboriginal tribes being styled Sakci or Orang-Bukit, Orang-Lant 
or Semaag . Accordhif to the Malayan Icigeads, indeed, there is a 
imee of wild people said to be Urand in the inteiior of Boman, the 
boundary between the statea of Perak and Salengore, designaMd Tuah- 
Benua («) by the Salagorians, and known at Quedah by the name of 
Mawas. They are represented as bearing a strong resemblance to the 
Mawa or long-anned gibbon, and instead of having a bone in the lower 
part of the arm, they have a piece of sharp iron which serves the double 
purpose of an arm and a cleaver for cutting wood. There is another 
savage race, according to the Malays, called Bilian, who are covered 
with hair, and have nails of extraordinary length. Their principal oc- 
cupation is said to be tending the tigers, which are their peculiar flock, 
as the buffaloes are of the Malays. In rainy nights, they are represented 
by the Malays as sometimes coming to their residence and demanding 
ftre, which those who are acquainted with their savage di8position,hand 
diem upon the point of a sumpit or arrow tube, or at the extremity of a 
sword ; as were the person to present it with his hand, he would inevitably 
be seized and devoured by the savage monster, a fate, which the crednlous 
Malay firmly believes, has befallen many* It is admirable how the 
Mahometans of the present day even,a88ign to these regions inhabitants 
■0 aptly coinciding with the mythological superstitions of the Hindoos. 
Fitter subjects could not indeed be attiibuted to the sovereign of dark- 
ness, whose abode is said to be in the peninsula of Malacca, than the 
Mawas and Bilian races above described ; whose appearance is quite 
consistent with what some intelligent Christians even, consider as the 
in^ of the inlemal regions, and it is still more remazkable that the 
suppQ3ed residence of the Mawa species is, acc(»ding to the Malajrs, 
in the very neighbourhood of the city of the Hindoos, yama-pari, or the 
grand depot for souls after death. Another circumstance deserving of 
notice b, that the Menang-Kebans of Sumatra^ supposed U> be the 
primidve Malays, "deduce their origin from two brothers named Perapad 
See Batang and Kei Tumunggungan, who are described as being among 
the forty companions of Noah in the ark, and whose landing at Palwn- 
bang,or at a small islet near it named Laoha Pura, (probably the small 
island of Lucepara) is attended widi the circumstance of the dry land 

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being first diacovered by ihe.reeting upon it of a bird (Perapati is liter* 
ally a pigeon) that ftew from the vessd. Fr<Mn thenee tbey proceeded 
to the mountain named Sigantaag-6antang,and afterward to Priangaa 
in the neighbourhood of the great volcano, which at this day is spoken of 
as the capital of Menang-Kaban." (/) There is a mountam called 
Gmon-Gantang in the Perak country, the supposed Yama-puri, and 
what is stHl more extraordinary,tbe king of Perak,in opposing the claims 
of the Siamese to a Boonga-Mas or Golden Flower, in a letter to a 
friend, says, " I am he who holds the royal 8W<^d and the dragon Betel 
Stand, and the shell fish which came out of the sea, which came from 
the hill of Segantang.** I do not profess myself Jto be sufficiently con- 
versant with the subject,to reason farther on this singular coincidence, 
but it appears to p[ie that many curious inferences might be drawn froAi 
it, and I shall leave the matter for the investigation of a more scion* 
tific pen. 

At Perak, the principal tin country of the peninsula, there are two 
distinct races of wild people in the interior, the one called Semang, 
resembling those of Quedah in personal appearance, but speaking a 
different dialect, somewhat more civilized, and fond of collecting silver 
and gold, with which they ornament their spears and knives, which they 
obtain in exchange for the products of the wood ; the others .are called 
Orang*Sakei by some, and Orang-Bukit or hilUpeople by others, {g) 
They are much darker complexioned than the Malays, but fairer than 
the Semangs,and speak a distinct language of their own. They are 
Dot so timid as the Semangs, and sometimes come down to the Malayan 
villages to amuse the inhabic^ints by their peculiar dances and music. 
Their ordinary dress consists of pieces of bark beat out, tied round 
their middle, but in their woods they are frequently met quite naked. 
Both tribes are reported to be pretty numerous on the hills which divide 
the Perak from the Patani slates, and they are often engaged in hos- 
tilities with each other. They are not so untractable as the Semangs, 
and some of their children are trained up as domestics in the Malayan 

The Orang-Laut is a race of people resembling the Malays in ap* 
)>e8rance, who live almost entirely on the water; they are certainly the 
Ichthyophagi of the East, and they subsist wholly upon fish. Dr. Ley- 
den supposes the Battas of Sumatra to be the Ichthyophagi described 
by Herodotus ; but there are several circumstances in his description 
which would seem to contradict such a supposition. The same author 
also, in alluding to the Batta Anthropophagi or cannibals of Sumatra, 
says : {T) " This inhuman custom is not however without a precedent in 


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histoiy, tot Herodotas positiyely asserts that the Padang or Pedasi, 
about five hundred years before, oar era, were not only addicted to the 
eating of raw flesh, but accustomed to kill and eat their relations when 
they grew old." Now it is ooruMis that Batta or Battey, for the name 
is written both ways, 8.eeai8 to be the very word which in Greek, is 
rendered Padasi,the letter P being almost always pronounced B among 
several of the IndcAl^hinese nations, as in the word Pali, which is al- 
most always pronounced Bah. The following is the account which 
Herodotus gives us of the Paday or Padasi : — ** Another Indian nation, 
who dwell to the eastward of these, (the Indian Ichthyophagi,) are of 
Nomadic h^ts and eat raw flesh ; they are called Paday. and are said 
to practise such customs as the following : whoever of the community, 
be he nan or woman,happensto fall sick, his most familiar friends, if it 
is a man, kill him^ saying, that by his pining in sickness, his flesh will 
be spoiled for them, and though he deny that he is sick, they do not at^ 
lend to him, but put him to death and feast on him. When a woman 
falls sick, she is treated in like manner by her most intimate female 
associates. They also sacrifice and feast on him who arrives at old 
age, and this is the reason that so few ever attain it, for they kill every 
one who falls sick, before that period." (t) Although this account cor- i 
responds in some particulars with the habits of the Battas, yet it difiezs | 
materially in others. The Battas, it is well known, inhabit the central 
parts of Sumatra and but rarely approach the seashore ; they could not 
therefore be termed Ichthyophagi, as they scarcely ^«e fish. The < 
Orang-Laut of the present day are not known to be addicted to canni- 
balism, jthougb it is extremely probable they were in former times, as 
they yet retain all the characteristics of the most sayage life. They 
rove about from one island to another, and are found in greatest numbers 
about the Lancavy ^group of islands opposite Quedah, and likewise in 
the straito of Singapore, Dryon, Banca and Belitong. They subsist 
wholly by fishing, and are very expert at striking fish with the spear; 
they live principally in small canoes : sometimes when the weather is 
boisterous, or their little barks require repair, they erect temporary huts 
on the seashore : they are almost all covered with ring-worms and 
socnrbutie emptionsy and have altogether a most squalid, wretched look; 
they are sometimes, when chance throws them in the way and they 
have become a little civilized, employed by the Malays to poU an oar, 
at which from their continual practice, they are very es^tert ; "their reli- 
gion is," (as Symes says of the Andamanen,} " the genuine homage of 
nature," ofiering up a hasty petition to the -sun and moon. Of the on- | 
|;in of that most singular and curious race called Semang, {k) the Ma- 


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lays possess no tradition: certain it is, howev^, that the tribes of them 
which inhabited Tarious parts on both sides of the peninsula, were 
much more numerous before many of the Malayan colonies were founded 
by emigrants from Sumatra. The Semangs are designated by the Ma- 
lays Semang Paya, Bukit, Bakow and Bila. The Semang Paya are 
those who reside on the plains and borders of morasses ; the Semang 
Bukit whose abode is on the hiUs, and the Semang Bakow are so called 
from their frequenting the seashore^ and occasionally taking up their 
quarters in the mangrore jungles ; the Semang. Bila are those who 
have been somewhat reclaimed from their savage habits and haye had 
intercourse with the Malays. A similar race of people are said to have 
formerly inhabited all t}ie islands of the Archipekgo,and small parties 
are still to be found on many of them. To the eastward they are called 
Dyake, and on the east coast of the Peninsula, Pangan. They are at 
present most numerous in the interior of Jan, a small river to the north-* 
ward of Mirlow, near the lofty mountain Jerei, in the Quedah territory. 
There are